Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Guide to the Tuckasegee River, North Carolina
As mentioned in the introduction, this river is wadable when they are not running water and
can be fished from drift boats and other crafts when they are running water. If you use a drift
boat, you will probably have to get out and pull it around the rock ledges if they are not
running water.

The trout are usually very cooperative and not difficult to catch. The river is heavily stocked.
A lot has to do with how long the fish have been stocked prior to your fishing the stream.
During the delayed harvest season period, many of the trout will be newly stocked trout.

When the water is high and you are using a boat, we suggest you first try streamers. This
tends to pick up the larger trout and well as cover a lot of water fast. It's a lot of work to cast
streamers all day and many anglers prefer not to do that. If you can find some rising fish, it's
best to anchor and fish them. Often that won't be the case. When there are no rising trout,
and you don't want to try streamers, we suggest you use a indicator rigged nymph. Some
anglers prefer to use tandem rigs which will also work well most of the time.

There are a lot of areas where the water is shallow in one place, and deep just a few feet
away because of the dropoffs the ledges create. Often the trout are holding in the deep
holes. This can be the case on cold bright clear days. During those times, you may do much
better using a nymph without an indicator to where you can control the depths with your fly
line, weight added to the tippet and mending.  

During the times when the stream is low, such as it is in most of the pictures, wading is the
preferred method. You can just about wade the entire river if you watch and don't step off
into a deeper hole. The best way it to fish is in an upstream direction fishing the riffles and
runs. At times the dry fly fishing can be fantastic. We have caught lots of trout (50 to 100) on
several occasions. You can get by with just about any good attractor fly most of the time, but
when a hatch is occurring, we prefer to use a matching fly. As you can see on our hatch
page, this river has a lot of caddisflies.

If you walk up or down the road bordering the river, you can often spot rising trout. At times
they seem to congregate in schools and feed in certain areas. Often you can catch a lot of
trout from one place if you are careful not to spook them. For example, on one fall trip, I was
fishing an area about the size of a small house during a caddifly hatch and managed to
catch over twenty trout. At times I had to stop casting and let things settle down before the
action resumed.

There are a lot of ways you can fish this river. Another great way is to single out larger fish
or only fish to individual rising or feed feeding below the surface. This lets you catch the
larger ones and provides more satisfaction for some anglers. All in all, the fishing is usually
fairly easy with a lot of action. For that reason, the river is usually packed with anglers. It can
get a little crowded at times, but it's a wide stream with lots of water to fish.  
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Tuckasegee River,
North Carolina