Going big in the heat

August is a great month for catching bigger trout on Curtis Creek.

Quality over quantity for August fly anglers

Most trout anglers agree that August isn’t the ideal month for fishing, but for Matt Evans of The Catawba Angler (thecatawbaangler.com; 828-460-2390) in Old Fort, NC, this is one of the best months for catching big fish on Curtis Creek.

“The fishing is slower this month, and one reason is because they open Curtis Creek for harvest in June. But, some of the bigger, smarter fish make it through the summer. So this time of year is perfect for stalking big fish,” he said.

For numbers, not so much. But that has an upside.

“Numbers are low, but the potential to catch a good one is always possible,” said Evans.

For fly anglers this month, Evans said it’s a great time for casting terrestrials.

“We throw a bunch of cinnamon ants, beetles and grasshoppers,” he said.

As is the case throughout the summer, he said the best opportunities to catch trout will come on weekdays, after the crowds of each weekend have died down.

Anglers who notice a string of days with afternoon storms will have good luck waiting until late in the day, when the storm is ongoing or once it’s over. Rainwater washing into the creek will cool it down and turn the bite on.

Smallmouth also in play

Anglers looking for a different kind of fishing will find it chasing smallmouth bass on several rivers across western NC. The French Broad, Toe and Catawba Rivers all have great populations of bronzebacks.

Late summer is often tough due to the many rainstorms, but those storms often help the fishing. They cool the water temperatures and push plenty of insects into the rivers, making great meals for smallmouth to feast on.

The best fishing here, said Evans, won’t happen until October. But that doesn’t mean August is a waste of time.

Although it’s one of the hottest months of the year, if not THE hottest, August will usually experience a cold front, giving a hint at the coming fall weather.

“The best bites occurs when we have a cold front come through and the water temperatures get around 75 degrees. Once this happens, the bite turns on,” he said.

August also usually brings low water, which pushes smallmouth into smaller pockets of the best water they can find.

“The lower water pushes the smallmouth into isolated areas, looking for that higher oxygen content,” he said.

One of his favorite things about August is that the topwater bite can be very good on some days. Of course, other days are quite tough.

“The weather in August is often inconsistent. The key is finding somewhat clear water. The topwater bite for fly fishermen can be excellent on some days and mediocre on others,” he said.

Fly fishing with poppers is the most exciting way to fly fish, and Evans said anglers can dead drift them, pop them, or twitch them.

About Brian Cope 2745 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at brianc@sportsmannetwork.com.

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