Friday, July 10, 2009

Fishing the French Broad

If you have never experienced fishing the French Broad you are really missing out.  The old FB flows north through Buncombe and Henderson counties in WNC and is one of the oldest rivers in the world.  The warm slow waters are home to a wide variety of fish, including a healthy population of smallmouth bass.  These bass make for some great sport on light spinning gear and occasionally can be caught on the fly.  The French Broad is not just about the fishing, it is also one of the most scenic rivers in our area.

Typical French Broad.  Slow, ledgy, delicious bass water.

Mmmmm Mmmm!  Smallmouth love Zoom Flukes!  Especially when you paint them with a garlic scented magic marker.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the acrobatic brown bass!

The French Broad is also home to many water loving birds such as this Great Blue Heron.

Sunset on one of the many deep pools of section 6 of the French Broad.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


In case you haven't met him, our guide Cory Sutton is quite a character.  In fact, he is almost like a cartoon character.   Here is a little window into an afternoon on the water with the legend himself.

Cory says the key to wet wading is avoiding the "critical depth"!

Cory taking time out to give a Bryson City howdy to a happy crew of rafters.

Always alert, Cory notices a splash.

Cory's fly box.  Always ready with the right fly.
9 times out of 10 it happens to be a female adams.

Cory brings another beautiful Nantahala rainbow to hand!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Fishing in the Smokies

NOC is offering hike-in fishing trips in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park this summer.  Last week Fishing Programs Director, J.E.B. Hall and Fishing Guide, Cory Sutton, went out to do a little "scouting around".  Scouting is a relative term here, since both J.E.B. and Cory are Swain County natives and have fished in the Smokies all of their lives.  What they found was a stream running clear but high.  A little too high, actually.  Even with the adverse conditions they still managed to catch a couple of trout and a creek chub to boot!

Cory rigging up with his morning cup of clarity.

Hiking in.

Classic Smokies pocket water.

Trout Wrangler!

J.E.B.'s non-target species :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fish Hook Extraction

NOC Fishing Programs Director JEB Hall and NOC's SOLO Southeast Director Jono Bryant demonstrate proper fish hook removal technique during today's Wilderness First Responder class. No makeup or special effects were used, just Jono's grit. Apparently this doesn't hurt though. Could've fooled me.

Friday, May 15, 2009

NOC Fishing Makes The New York Times

Today The New York Times published an article on western North Carolina's fly fishing. The article, "Chasing Rainbows, and Their Cousins, on North Carolina's Trout Trail", by Christopher Percy Collier details the region's unqiue brand of fishing:

"Along the area’s narrow river reaches, casts are typically shorter, the fish are less particular about their diet and anglers can get by with fewer fly patterns. It is entirely feasible to hit one trout stream in the morning, one after lunch, and still another before dark. Even the trout flies are different, more impressionistic than entomologically correct."

Citing NOC Fishing Director J.E.B. Halls's Western North Carolina Fly Guide Collier describes how the region's fishing scene is finally getting the attention it deserves, and he goes on to recommend NOC as an outfitter for the Nantahala area:

"On the Nantahala River, the Nantahala Outdoor Center (13077 Highway 19, Wesser; 888-905-7238; sells all manner of outdoor equipment and offers guide services at $250 for one or two people on a half-day wade trip and $350 for a full day. Float trips are $300 and $400."

Read the article here:

And check out J.E.B.'s popular Western North Carolina Fly Guide here:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fly Shop's New Fly Display

Check out the new fly display in the Wesser General Store and Fly Shop. With cold beer, flies, fishing accessories and snacks, it's the most convenient shop on the way to the Upper Nantahala or any of the area's other great streams. The info board (partially visible on the wall) has the up-to-date scoop on what's hot and what's working, and of course you can hire a guide or get some casting instruction too.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

High Water Alternative-

Ever notice that when the water is high the fishing isn't so great? Some folks try to fish anyway, while others just go home. For me high water means its time to put down the rod and pick up the paddle. Last week's high water events made for some poor fishing but some great kayaking. Check out these photos from our adventures on the West Prong, Linville, and the Green!