Brookies and 'Bows on the Upper Nantahala

Location: the upper Nantahala river

Species: Brook trout, Rainbow trout

Methods: Tailwater Outfitter 3 weight fishing a triple nymph rig

Flies: Hares ears, Hares ears, Hares ears!! I fished zebra midges, stone fly nymphs, caddis pupa and other flies but caught every fish on a beaded Hares ear

Conditions: After some twelve hours of near continuous rainfall we arrived at the river fearing the worst. Thankfully, the high elevation likely prevented a hard runoff and the water conditions looked prime for our day on the water. It was very overcast and cool, perhaps 40 degrees and rising up to 50 by midday. Water temperature was about 48 degrees and was colored up only slightly, a perfect smoky-blue. Water clarity was very good despite the rain and it maybe allowed for about 4 feet of visibility.  We fished from 10:30 until 14:30 at which point we went exploring the headwaters of the river, details to follow later.

Notables: I caught and released 3 Rainbow trout and one Brook trout in our "morning" session. The first fish sign came on a tight cast to the opposing bank when a small fish clearly rolled on one of my flies. After resting the run for a moment or two I followed up my near-luck with a tight cast into the structure where I had seen the fish. Immediately I made a hard upstream mend in order to provide my flies with a more realistic dead-drift. A split second after my mend and BAM, my indicator dipped hard below the seam of the current. With a quick downstream set I had a fish on and moments later I landed a beautiful five inch Rainbow. This was my first fish of the weekend and it was a huge relief to have the 'skunk off my back'.