Sunday, October 16, 2016
Nantahala Play Day
We caught a bunch, and all three of us got a slam of rainbows, browns and brook trout during the day. Beyond the catching, it was just a fun day spent together by the river.
The catch-and-release season on North Carolina's delayed-harvest streams just opened a couple of weeks ago. What that means is that these stream sections are well stocked and the trout haven't gotten too educated. Fooling fish isn't an amazing accomplishment, but it's a barrel of fun. We like the Nantahala a lot because it's a beautiful stretch of river with a lot of variety in types of water, and it's just big enough that at any given pull-off, it is practical for two or three people to spread out a bit or even to fish side-by-side. It's also nice because a road parallels the river, so you can fish an area for a while and then move to another pull-off.
We're far from alone in liking the Nantahala, and it can get kind of crowded. However, the many pull-offs and the configuration of the river make it pretty easy to find a spot where you aren't fishing in a crowd. Arriving early also helps. We had the river to ourselves when we arrived, and we got to hit a few spots first. Fishing on a weekday helps a little. Maybe the best thing that can happen for the sake of less company is to have horrible weather (not the case last week), and in truth, wet, nasty days sometimes offer the best fishing action.