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Topic: Davidson River NC, Fishing report< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
ollifl Offline
Minnow




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Joined: Oct. 2004
Posted: May 31 2005,06:05

Hello All, haven't been posting that much in this forum, but hopefully that changes in the future.

Finally got back from the mountains, plenty of banjos playing there this weekend, but anyway, I got to go fly-fishing on Davidson River for three days, my other favorite method of going hungry and frustrated. We drove from WPB to Ashville NC, on Thursday, I wanted to leave on Wed. but we had to stay since it was the season finale of LOST, wow. After 13 hours of "grueling" stop and go traffic we finally arrived, and went to bed, great.



Day 1  Wake up early (6.30 am), everybody in the house is sleeping and I go to kitchen and start making preps for the day. Pull out all the gear and stuff it in the back seat of the car get the coffee and get on the road. Davidson River is only about 30 min. drive away from my inlaws house so I'm not in a hurry, since I have to stop and get some of the "flys for the day", at Davidson, the trout are very well educated and since there is a hatchery up on top every mile is different (according to local "bait shop"), today's magic was a black ant, no, not the ones I have tied over the past six months, but the ones they sell at $ 1.95 a piece, they look exactly like the ones I have in the box but I buy a few anway (sucker) since I need to know the secret spots also. 8.30 am and 35 smuckaroos later I drive up the hill about where the hatchery is and tie in my new better than mine black parachute ant, jump into my waders and realize I needed to bring a sweater or two, the temperature is chilling 40 deg. and t-shirt does not provide much warmth, well, next time, maybe the sun comes up and warms me up, or all the fish I'm going to catch, yup, that's it, adrenaline pumping I start towards the river, jump in the water and start casting, not realizing my waders are slowly filling up with water, thats not all, everybody else has the secret black ant in the end of their line, seems like it wasn't a big secret after all. By 11 am the fishing was shoulder to shoulder and wait for your turn, I saw two arguments break out and decided to leave. Got to the house, wrung the socks and headed for Hunter and Banks for a new pair of wader, none my size left and the guy is telling me how tall I am, trying to sell me a pair of G3's in size LT, large and tall, I'm 5'10" and 170 pounds, If I'm paying 375.00 for a pair of waders, I want them to fit, am I wrong? the guy seemed to think so. No waders in the whole driving distance, so next best thing, 3M tent water repellent, works great, $ 4.99 at local WM and I'm back in business.



Day 2 Wake up earlier than yesterday, destination same, but this time I decide to hike where there is no "tourists", 3 mile hike from the last parking spot and I find a perfect place, I haven't seen anybody for about an hour or so and decide to make camp, I have an old army issue multi pan and burner set up from Finland and decide to make some coffee while I'll scout the area. 30 min later the coffee is ready sun is shining and the life can't get any better than this, I already had couple of good bites on dries and emergers so I knew I wasn't gettin skunked, except it started pouring rain, the river started roaming and my little pond was starting to look like lake okeechobee coming over the barrier, Thank You Hennessy Hammock for the extra large rain sleeve you sent me with my hammock, and two minutes later I was under cover again. The rain eventually went away but there was no fishing with dry flies anymore so I changed into woolly buggers and some other patterns, fishing was pretty good, I caught a few and lost a few. On my way back I met with some other guys who were caught in the rain as well and they were surprised to see me dry and happy, they were not. Great day.



Day 3 Wake up even earlier since I'm supposed to spend some time with my F-inlaw, whisper in my wife's ear if she minds if I go fishing for couple of hours, she says no, I'm out of there.

Same spot as yester day, checked the forecast first, sunny and warm, got there around 7.30 a.m, and to my disappointment there was somebody already, started making coffee and watching the guy pulling trout almost every cast, whatta ####, invited him for a coffee and found out he was local and third generation Davidson fly-fisher, traded stories and lies about this and that, and finally we got into talking about the river and how to catch fish, we both agreed the hatchery creates its own little world down below, and the fish are best caught on midges, but what was he using up here? surprise, egg patterns, not the perfect little round balls we all make on our vises, but fuzzy, un-even, pink, salmon, green and brown balls of fur, he told me his grand father used them, his father used them and they still work, any simple non groomed fly I had in my boxes, he told me, would work up there, I asked about the ants and he started laughing, so the ants were the ones the shop owners needed to get rid off this week, was his answer.

We fished few hours together and I learned alot about back-country fishing, thanks to my extra effort to carry my cooking stuff with me, I made a friend who shoved me how to catch, prepare and enjoy and open fire trout on stream side, (it seems like the locals can catch and eat one trout a day).



Thanks for the lesson Steven, hopefully we can do it again sometime.



After all this, my camera was in the car, but what its worth, I caught one of my biggest trouts, 23.+" and also the smallest 2.75" trout.

That day I caught 22 trouts, propably more than I have caught altogether on those countless trips up the different rivers of NC, and it made me realize, trout fishing can be fun, it does not need to be just an excuse to get out of the house anymore.

Olli

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blindhog Offline
Wahoo




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Joined: Feb. 2004
Posted: May 31 2005,09:39

Great report ollifl.I know what what you mean about the Fly shops clearing out thier overstocked "gotta have fly-o-the week".
It's kinda funny that when you step into a cold river it's hard to tell if the waters really that cold or your waders are leaking.(or both).Thanks for the tip about the 3m stuff.Aquaseal works well also.
I've have a trip coming up in Sept.out to the San Juan in New Mexico..........can't wait.
Thanks again for the great report,sounds like a very worthwhile experience.

d
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RalphL Offline
Cuda




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Joined: May 2004
Posted: May 31 2005,12:22

It's been a couple of years since I was last in Pisgah.  I go there mostly to ride my mountain bike and to hike a little.  Last time I was there, I rode Sycamore Cove and Thrift Cove trails, which start across the highway from Davidson River campground and go up the mountain from there.  Got caught in the rain and got all muddy, so when I returned to the parking area, I wanted to wash some of the mud off of me and my bike, so I waded into the river to do so.  Apparently, this is a social faux-pax in that area, cause I got some bad looks, as well as a nasty "your mud is polluting my trout stream" comment from a group of female flyfisherpersons who were trying their best to look spiffy and trout-knowledgable in their $$$ LL Bean waders and fly fisher garb.  It was rather humorous.  I watched about 30 guys/gals fish for about an hour and not one of them raised a fish, even though you could see them swimming around there, if you knew where to look.  I have always resisited the urge to fish there, mostly because of the cost.  I will go over to Cherokee and buy a one day (used to be $5.00) license that would permit an adult and a child to catch and keep (you had to keep, no releasing allowed), 10 fish between them.  We would fish the streams and impoundments upstream of town, just driving along in the car, stopping here and there.  My son was fairly young then and it was nice to be able to introduce him to some of the kind of fishing that I grew up doing in western PA.  We would fish 2 lb. spinning, using stink baits or salmon eggs and usually catch enough for dinner.  Biggest fish I ever caught there was a Brown that went about 3 lbs.  He was quite a tussle on 2 lb.
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ollifl Offline
Minnow




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Joined: Oct. 2004
Posted: May 31 2005,14:31

Yeah, I know exactly what you mean about the peeps looking at you weird over there, not many of them hike to fish, its either fish or hike but not both.
Nowadays you have tube rental at the bottom of the river so now there's fishers, tubers and bathers shoulder to shoulder for the first 5-7 miles (and no fish) until you hit the hatchery, there its shoulder to shoulder fishing, two miles up and you're alone most of the time, only guides with their customers go that far, and couple of nut cases like me.
We used to go to Bryson city and fish Cherokee but the last time I went there was about 7 years ago, rented a boat at Lake Fontana and went to the otherside, no roads and no people there either, lots of little streams and wild trout though.
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ollifl Offline
Minnow




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Joined: Oct. 2004
Posted: May 31 2005,20:26

Blindhog, that 3M stuff is called campdry, its for weatherproofing tents, boots and other gear, I also have stuff called NikWax for neoprene water proofing and I used it for the sock part of my waders just in case, mine didn't have any tears or rips, they are just old (7 years) and soaking thru thats the reason I didn't go with aquaseal.
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