November is that time of year when the trout streams are smoking because the fishing is so hot! North Georgia and Western North Carolina mountain creeks are alive with the sounds of screaming fly reels and splashing trout. Most of the fly hatches are starting to wane with just a few Blue Winged Olive Mayflies and small Grey Midges hanging around on select days. Have no fear though; nymphs, buggers, soft hackles, and various junk food will hold us over until the first sunny days of March when the big bugs start flying again.
The Toccoa River tailwater near Blue Ridge, Georgia is finishing up its nasty lake turnover and returning to its semi normal self. Also, the Delayed Harvest starts on the headwaters of the Toccoa at Sandy Bottoms Canoe Launch on November 1st. There’s a good mile and a half here to fish with good access along Dial road. The wading can be a little tricky with lots of shelf rock but it’s well worth it with the water flow below 300 cfs just be careful. Junk food patterns such as Eggs, San Juan Worms, and Squirmy Worms will work great along with standard nymph patterns and good old Wooly Buggers in size 10, 12, and 14.
The Delayed Harvest streams in the forgotten far West of North Carolina such as Fires Creek and Big Snowbird Creek are rocking right now! Two huge stockings of big beautiful hungry trout have been planted in these two amazingly scenic streams by the second week of November. Both are just a couple of hours North of Atlanta or West of Asheville and are well worth the drive from anywhere. The fish will take bushy dry flies such as Elk Hair Caddis and Black or Orange Stimulators on warmer days. To be super effective though a size 14 or 16 Pheasant Tail or Hares Ear Nymph swung under one of those dries on some 5x fluorocarbon will keep you busy with the landing net. Better yet take a fishing buddy and let him hold the net for you! If the water is up and you want to fish nymphs, double rigging with a Y2K Bug with a size 14 Prince nymph dropper is murder on these guys. Fishing barbless is recommended to reduce the chance of harming these fish as much as possible. We guide on all of these three awesome pieces of trout water and I can’t think of a better place to take a beginning fly fisher to get a little stream cred under his or her wading belt.