Tuckasegee trouting

The Tuck is great for all three species of NC’s trout

One of Matt Evans’ favorite places to fish this month is the Tuckasegee River in western NC. It’s a great place to catch all species of trout.

“The Tuckasegee River boosts high numbers of fish, and quality ones at that. Anglers can get their trout slam here by catching a brown, rainbow, and brook trout in one outing,” said Evans, who runs The Catawba Angler (828-460-2390).

This river is stocked heavily, and Evans said spring is a great time to catch them.

“This is one of the best stocked trout rivers in western NC. The stretch between Sylva and Dillsboro gets stocked twice in March, April, May, October and November. These stockings provide an abundance of trout to be caught from October through the end of May,” he said.

During the spring, this river gets its share of traffic from anglers, but Evans said that shouldn’t deter anyone from fishing here.

“The Tuckasegee can be very crowded with fishermen during the spring and fall months. But it’s a big enough river where wade fishermen and boaters can spread out. The river is wide and open for longer casts, making it an enjoyable experience fishing from a drift boat or a raft,” he said.

Peaceful river

When it comes to catching fish, Evans said a lot depends on the water levels, and on whether an active hatch is taking place.

“Our favorite methods for fishing this river include swinging wet flies during hatches, and stripping streamers off the banks during higher flows. Low water days can be a lot of fun in the spring, throwing dry flies when a compound hatch is going off. Drifting nymphs under an indicator can be super effective as well,” he said.

Indicators are good choices under certain circumstances. But anglers should be willing to remove them, especially when the bite turns tough.

“A lot of anglers use indicators to dead drift bugs through runs, so it can pay off to take the indicator off and switch up your presentations when the fish are being picky,” Evans said. “Swinging unweighted pheasant tails and soft hackles are hard to beat.”

As far as gear goes, Evans said most anglers use a 5-weight or a 7-weight rod.

“Most anglers tackle this river with a 5-weight rod since it’s versatile for throwing dries and nymphing. A 7-weight with sinking line or a sink tip is great when both forks are being released. That gets those streamers down in the water column,” he said.

Evans said that even when it’s crowded, this river is a pure joy to fish.

“This river is always peaceful, no matter how many people are fishing it. And it’s a special place to trout fish here in the mountains of North Carolina,” said Evans.

About Brian Cope 2800 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@carolinasportsman.com.

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