Carolina Fly Fishing Club
Welcome to the Carolina Fly Fishing Club!
JUNE MONTHLY MEETING
JUNE 14, 2023
Concord Mills Mall
Speaker starts at 6:45PM
THE ONE AND ONLY RIVERGIRL!
Kelly filled the room in 2022 and was rated one our best presenters, even though we had no sound system, computer or video to support her! The community voted her the best fishing guide and outdoor educator in her area.
It is no wonder she filled the room and entertained the CFFC membership.
The Watuaga Democrat said, "being around Kelly McCoy, the founder and owner of RiverGirl Fishing Company in Todd, NC, was like getting a vitamin b12 shot. she is full of energy the topic of conversation, but when she talks about local rivers and the life beneath the surface, you've hit a gold mine of information and energy!"
Kelly is a college trained and educated fisheries biologist. She worked for the Florida fish and Wildlife Commission. Kelly is very knowledgeable about trout and smallmouth fishing in the Watuaga and Ashe County area of North Carolina.
The last time she spoke to our club, she reluctantly told of a secret fly, a killer fly! Did anyone tie one?
I did and it was very effective.
Don't miss this meeting!
Listen to her passion for the river. Kelly will speak about trout and other fishing opportunities in the Todd, NC and surrounding areas.
Don't miss this live in person meeting!
Non-Member guests are encouraged to attend.
IN THE NEWS!
RIVER ACCESS CASE DECIDED BY US SUPREME COURT MAY HAVE IMPACT ON SOUTH AND NORTH CAROLINA
FFI/SEC President, Debra Pauli has specifically asked CFFC to be the host club for this event. We need at least two members to attend as representatives for the club.
If you can attend, please register using the both links below (the CFFC link will allow board members to be informed. The FFI/SEC link will secure your spot in the event)
Link to sign up through CFFC: CLICK HERE
Link to sign up through FFI SEC: CLICK HERE
Please join us on JUNE 9-11 for our next FISHING THE WATERS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN COUNCIL trip to Rosman, NC. We will be having a fishing class on Friday night withHeadwaters Outfitters, and then spending the weekend floating and wading for trout and bass around the Davidson and French Broad River areas. Our last event was a lot of fun, so put this on your calendar for June and we'll see you there!
Date: June 9-11, 2023
Location: Rosman, NC (near Brevard)
Host: Headwater Outfitters, 828-877-3106
Waters: Davidson River, French Broad River, tributaries
Fishing Option: Wade independently, wade with a guide, drift boat with a guide
Target Fish: Trout and bass
Accommodations: The Sunset Motel comes highly recommended, is closest to Headwaters Outfitters, and is locally owned and operated. Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Comfort Inn and Suites, other hotels, AirBnB, VRBO.
Notes:Headwater Outfitters will host FFI for an Informational event on How to Fish The Area Friday night at their shop. If an angler wishes to utilize a guide, they should make those reservations independently with Headwater Outfitters. Saturday night will be a group dinner at a local eatery.
YOU HOOKED YOURSELF WITH A FLY!
Many times a fishing buddy or you will put a hook in a body part. Do you need to quit fishing? Probably not. There are several good YouTube videos out there.
Word of advice, medical professionals caution, never push the hook farther through the body part to cut the barb off. there is a significant risk of tissue damage.
Bear in mind, we are not physicians and have never even played a physician, that's why we fly fish. When in doubt seek competent medical advice.
When and Why?
AUGUST MONTHLY MEETING
August 9, 2023
Debra Paulie President of SEC and Kathleen Bergeron VP, of Conservation, will be speaking.
Debra, who grew up in New Orleans, was exposed to fishing at an early age but it wasn’t until she took a class with Georgia Women Fly Fishers (GWFF) that she touched her first fly rod and became hooked. Debra is treasurer of GWFF and past membership chair of the Atlanta Fly Fishing Club (AFFC). She is also past Treasurer of the Southeastern Council. Debra learned she had achieved real success in fly fishing after compleing a day on the water without catching a fish, she remarked what a great day it was on the water. The President of GWFF remarked that she had reached enlightenment. Debra agrees.
Debra considers herself the luckiest bad fly fisherperson on the planet. Her luck includes big red fish and black drum in South Louisiana; tarpon and bones in Cuba and Belize; and Silver Salmon, grayling, trout, dolly varden, arctic char in Alaska. One of the reasons Debra loves fishing is because fish don’t live in ugly places. She enjoys traveling to add species to her catch list.
Debra believes that a regional organization like the Southeastern Council can provide anglers in big cities and small towns with a variety of opportunities and hopes to help develop these opportunities in the Southeast.
Kathleen Bergeron VP, Conservation
It was an issue of Fly Fisherman magazine, back in 1978 that first got Kathleen interested in our noble endeavor. The gorgeous cover shot of an angler standing hip-deep in a stream among colorful autumn leaves pulled her into the publication to find out more. After a few casting and fly tying lessons, she was soon following in the footsteps of that angler, as well as the writers in that issue – Art Flick, Ernie Schwiebert, and John Merwin, among others – pursuing the elusive trout. Her job took her to various parts of the country, and she was able to fish the waters in California, Oregon, Montana, Maine, and Virginia, as well as her native Texas.
Sadly, Kathleen’s career in transportation drew her to focus more and more time dealing with engineers, and less on communing with fish. Yet, much of that career dealt with conservation-related matters: protecting waterways and natural habitat in highway construction areas, promoting the use of “critter crossings” to allow wildlife migration to flow over or under highways, the use of alternate transportation fuels, and recycling of motor oil, tires, and batteries. In the mid-1980s, she chaired a newly formed Environment Section of the Public Relations Society of America, the largest professional communication association in the world.
After retiring from the Federal Highway Administration, Kathleen moved to North Carolina to work on a writing project. Here, Kathleen’s love of flyfishing has come back to life and she found an unanticipated benefit of the move: the Old North State’s many hidden mountain streams and rivers...and the fish that live there.
Just for fun, Kathleen located and purchased a copy of that now almost fifty-year-old issue of Fly Fisherman magazine. The cover is as beautiful as ever, but inside was an ironic twist: One of the articles outlined an effort to defeat a huge dam project along Maine’s St. John River. Conservationists across the country – doubtless including FFI members -- joined that fight to stop the project and protect the river’s native trout
habitat. Ironic because today, Kathleen finds herself a part of FFI’s Conservation Committee, the group that frequently joins with other concerned outdoors organizations to do battle against similar projects in order to protect rivers, lakes and streams. As they say, what goes around comes around.
The Southeastern Council is sponsoring a trip to Wyoming
SEPTEMBER 3-9, 2023
We will be staying at Yellowstone Anglers' Basecamp on the North Fork Shoshone River. There are abundant opportunities to fish in the greater Yellowstone area for cutthroat and other trout. Several FFi clubs took trips there last Summer and had a fantastic time.
This week-long trip utilizes the facilities of the Boy Scout camp. 3 meals/day, cabins, shuttles to the river(s) are provided. If an angler wishes to utilize a guide, they should make those reservations independently with area Cody fly shops. ZOOM meeting to discuss this trip on March 29 at 7PM.
NORTH CAROLINA ALERT
Warmer temperatures, more stocking, more people fishing often yeild more sightings.
RALEIGH, N.C. (March 3, 2023) – Wildlife biologists at the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission are asking the public, particularly anglers as opening day of Hatchery Supported Trout Waters approaches (April 1), to report any sightings of hellbenders and mudpuppies. Both types of aquatic salamanders are found in western North Carolina and listed in North Carolina as species of special concern. Commission biologists want to know more about their distribution in the state and how their populations are faring.
These two giant salamanders often get confused with one another, but they have distinct differences. The largest aquatic salamander in North America and typically only found in fast moving, clean mountain streams, hellbenders can grow to 2 feet long but average 16 to 17 inches long. Hellbenders have flat, broad heads and flattened bodies, wrinkly skin on their sides and are brown – sometimes mottled with dark splotches. They are sometimes also referred to as “water dogs,” “snot otters,” or “Alleghany alligators,” and because they breathe through their skin, are considered “bio-indicators” of good water quality.
Smaller than the hellbender, adult mudpuppies can grow over a foot long but average around 8 to 10 inches in length. Mudpuppies have light brown, smooth skin that is typically speckled with spots, and red external feathery gills they retain through their whole life. They primarily live in deep rivers, lakes, large ponds and reservoirs, but also thrive in unpolluted streams like the hellbender.
“We know less about mudpuppies than we do about hellbenders, but we’d like to know much more about both,” said Lori Williams, a wildlife diversity biologist with the Wildlife Commission. “Challenging logistics in lake systems have made it difficult for us to conduct mudpuppy population surveys, but those habitats may be hot spots. Mudpuppies are attracted to baited hooks in lakes and deep rivers, so anglers fishing from boats may catch one. We need anyone who fishes deep river sites and impounded waters to let us know if they find one.”
Hellbenders, on the other hand, have been the focus of a long-term inventory and monitoring study the agency has been conducting with partners since 2007. Their populations have decreased mainly due to declining water quality and habitat degradation, and to a lesser degree, ill treatment from anglers who mistakenly think they decrease trout populations. The latter is not true; however, both hellbenders and mudpuppies may go after fish on a line or stringer when scavenging for an easy meal. Their main source of prey is crayfish, but they will also eat minnows, snails, tadpoles, worms, discarded bait or other injured or dead animals.
“While some misinformation regarding hellbenders still exists, it has been rewarding to watch more and more anglers embrace these animals and their conservation need throughout the years,” Wildlife Commission Mountain Coldwater Research Coordinator Jacob Rash. “It’s important to remember that trout and hellbenders need the same clean, cool waters, and what’s good for one is good for the other. We are very grateful for trout anglers who help spread the word, report encounters, and provide a much-needed ally for our hellbender conservation efforts in NC.”
Neither the mudpuppy nor the hellbender is poisonous, venomous, toxic or harmful to humans, although they may try to bite as a defensive reaction if someone tries to pick them up. If sighted, they should be left alone and reported. Williams asks that their location be noted (physical location or GPS coordinates), a photo snapped if possible, and any other details shared with her at Lori.Williams@ncwildlife.org. People can also call the Wildlife Commission’s NC Wildlife Helpline, 866-318-2401, and provide details of the observation.
It is illegal to take, possess, transport or sell mudpuppies or hellbenders, or attempt to do so. The violation is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which can result in a fine and up to 120 days in jail. If anglers happen to catch one on by hook and line, they should carefully remove the hook if it is safe to do so without harming the animal, or cut the line as close as possible to the hook and return the salamander back to the water.
Learn more by visiting the NC Partners in Amphibians and Reptile Conservation’s mudpuppy webpage and the Wildlife Commission’s hellbender webpage.
TIPS FROM ONE OF OUR MEMBERS
Tips to catch more fish this Spring
By Richard Griggs
Carolina Mountain Sports
March, April and May are great months for trout fishing. All the designated Delayed Harvest and Hatchery Supported streams will get a bunch of “new” fish. It's a great time to be on the water, developing and honing those skills. Some of us will catch a bunch, but others....well, not so many.
Here are a few tips to help you progress with your skill as an angler and terrorize some trout in the process. Most of these have been acquired over more than 20 years of running a fly shop and listening to customers brag, and complain.
Learn to tie a couple of good knots well, and quick. For many, the standard Clinch Knot and Surgeons Knot work just fine. Practice before you get on the stream....and yes, most of us will benefit from wearing “readers” or some other magnifying aid. What's really embarrassing is taking 10 minutes (or more) working out tangles and re-tying knots when the fish are eating.
Take a casting lesson or two from a good instructor. As one of our members was fond of saying: “there is no penalty for casting better.” That is so true. But, some will say, we don't need more than a lob cast or a roll cast (or maybe a water haul) on our trout streams. That is very true in many situations. But, the better you understand and can implement the basic principles of casting, the better is your “short game” on our trout waters....that means more fish and fewer tangles and hangups.
Take a tip or two from the Euro Nymph anglers: Add a longer section of Flourocarbon tippet to your leader, just below a section of colored monofilament “sighter material” tied into your leader; don't have a bunch of line and leader lying on the water's surface...instead get use to “high sticking” or tightline fishing: ...and, OMG, maybe eliminate that big strike indicator/bobber/cork, which only indicates some strikes and scares educated fish... and get your flies on or near the bottom.
Recently stocked trout certainly key in on bright colored flies like yarn egg patterns; squirmy wormies, and mop flies. Some refer to these at “junk flies” and Christmas tree “ornaments.” Keep in mind that “new” fish have not yet learned what real stream food looks like. But, even wild, born-in-the-stream fish, love to eat fish eggs; and all the thousands of aquatic worms that live in the sediment; and the crane fly and caddis fly life stage that mop flies imitate. (Ok maybe not the bright orange Cheeto version!)
Looking for fishing information?
Not sure exactly where to go?
The Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail gives great suggestions.
LYING AND TYING
DATES AND LOCATIONS
May 9, 2023 - 6PM - 9PM Basspro - Concord, NC
May 16, 2023 - 6PM - 8:30PM Cabelas Fort Mill, SC
Learn to tie or share your knowledge! All materials and tools provided.
Contact the organizers for more information.
South Carolina has more than great football!
TROUT FISHING OPPORTUNITIES
For many of our members, South Carolina remains unexplored. It offers some excellent trout fishing opportunities.
DOWNLOAD THIS FREE BOOK
Make a promise to yourself to fish a new location in North Carolina this spring.
Follow this link to adventure.
Every public fishing opportunity is located for your next trip. Find an area of North Carolina you want to explore and zoom in on the prospects. River, lake or pond, are all covered here. Pro tip: Use Google maps separately to explore the terrain and access points.
North Carolina Stocking Schedule
Another awesome trout fishing locator.