Sunday, March 20, 2011
Upstate SC and northwest NC are trout hotspots
Nice western NC rainbow and Gene Cunningham fishing picturesque pool
L. Ross with another good rainbow
Last Friday was a "drop-dead", gorgeous day to be in the woods. Gene Cunningham and I drove to the North Mills River, a delayed harvest stream in search of trout. This has been a favorite spot, but has been a victim of poaching in recent years and is not fulfilling the goal intended by wildlife agencies.
The property was in danger of development, but TU provided funds to preserve the area and maintain it as a public fishing resource.
We saw a young "Jake" turkey on the road alongside the river. He was not in a hurry to depart and we had a good chance to admire his plumage as it shown iridescent in the sun. That alone was worth the drive.
The water temperature was an excellent 50 degrees and a few other anglers were present on the stream. Unfortunately, the fish population was small, even after stocking in March. Most fishermen only caught a couple of fish, but it was great to be on the water.
One of the last pools fished yielded a fat, scrappy rainbow on a nymph. After a valiant fight, he was admired, photographed and allowed to return to the deep.
Upstate SC has several good trout destinations with the Chattooga River being one of the best. Western NC has an abundance of streams and many are within an hour drive from the Greenville, SC, area.
The French Broad offers trout, smallmouth and even a few muskies. A guide acquaintance told of fishing for muskies with large streamer flies on the Broad. He said you need to use a heavy rod, or they will destroy your equipment. Steel leaders are a good idea as well.
A day on a trout stream is good for a man's soul. The quiet whispering of the wind through the boughs of the trees and the sound of the water rippling over the boulders is a respite from the cares of everyday life.