Fly Fishing in North Carolina

I started fly fishing 20 years ago while I was living in Greenwich, Connecticut on the Long Island Sound. My first catches on the fly were Bluefish and Striped Bass. I was hooked instantly, sorry I had to say it. I was lucky enough to be able to learn from my neighbor. An avid outdoorsman who had the patience of a saint. After work we would go out on his boat, listen to old Dead shows, hit his one hitter and I was taught the importance of tempo. Moving my forearm to the pace of a metronome while feeling the weight of the line moving with the rod. He taught me how to cast and the importance of polarized sunglasses. The waters of the Long Island Sound are not  necessarily clear in the spring and summer. You had to be able to see the movement under the water when bait fish schooled or even better, came to a boil. Being able to see the fish you were hunting or what they are hunting is best done with polarized sunglasses.

Polarized Sunglasses for Fly Fishing

When the fall settled and winter was settling in, most weekends I could be found walking the designated trout management area on the Mianus River. Walking the trails and being on the water early Sunday mornings really helped me take my mind off of life at the time. I was in my mid twenties and not having enough money to even be “keeping up” or the “Joneses”. Being on the trails forced me to focus on the beauty of the nature surrounding me. The smell of fallen leaves on the ground, the river, the fish, and it was the only place I could be alone and not have to answer to anyone. I would practice casting while getting my line caught in every tree around me. It did not bother me at all since I could smoke while tying knots and watch the fish through my sunglasses. Casting as a movement calmed me down and being outside made me a better person.

Every year fly fishing lovers from all around throw their polarized sunglasses on top of their heads, grab their vests, and waders to indulge in some of the nations best fly fishing. Rainbows, Brook, Brown trout, pan fish, Small and Largemouth bass, Striped Bass, as well as Red Drum are all fishable in this state. Fishing brook trout, which are native to North Carolina, are found in many streams in the state. Rainbow and Brown trout are not native to the state but have been stocked in many lakes, creeks, and rivers which are suited for their larger size.

Fly Fishing in North Carolina

The mountains of Western North Carolina boast pristine rivers, streams, legendary scenery and fishing that anglers dream of. I always sport my Nectar Sunglasses whenever I am heading out to go fishing.The lenses, which are all polarized, give me a significant advantage when fishing the streams and rivers. Polarized sunglasses allow me to look through the water and see inside the nook’s crannies of any stream while fishing those hard spots where the fish like to hide. Fishing is challenging and fun at the same time. If you're catching a pickle (nickname for a small trout) or a hog, you will have your fair share of challenges. Even if you are fishing stocked waters. Just because the fish are there doesn't mean they are going to end up on your hook.

Both the Tuckasegee and Watauga rivers can both be found in western North Carolina boasting wild and stocked waters. Bryson City is where I have had a ton of fun on guided float trips. I have had the benefit of some nice sized fish and also connected with some of the best guides in the state. My wife and I love doing guided float trips since the guide can get us into spots we can't wade into. It also helps to have the local knowledge of a guide which is helpful when fishing these waters. My wife bagged a 23” rainbow on our last float trip while I got skunked. Both my wife and the guide were wearing Nectar Sunglasses and were able to spot the fish in a pool next to some rocks.

Watauga River North Carolina

I love fishing the Green River in Saluda, NC during the winter, early spring and late fall. This is when all the tubers are gone and the fishing is epic. After driving down the notorious 17 switchbacks of Green River Cove Road I always end up at Fish Top. The most common entrance point into the Green River. It has a big bulletin board at the end of the lot showing a map, regulations, limits, and the do’s and don'ts of this amazing location. There are other entry points onto the river as well but this is the most common and we like to hike the trails to get to our spots.

Immediately a fly fisher notices the deep pools surrounded by heavy vegetation and rocks. My waders, Nectar Sunglasses (The Folly), and fly box filled with midges, Woolly Buggers, nymphs, and weight forward fly line on my 5 weight are all I need. Over the years and multiple trips with friends and my wife, we have been able to land big trout in this river. We fish the deep pools and leave the ripples alone. It's a blast and the hikes are always fantastic.

Many people like to raft the upper Green River which has one of the steepest commercially run whitewater stretches in the southeast. It is a stretch of continuous class II and III rapids along with two sections that are class IV. Its about a 4 mile stretch of river that I have yet to attack but then again, I like to attack fish as opposed to rapids. However, once a year the Annual Green River Narrows Race is held here and brings spectators and participants from around the world to test their skills against the rapids. 

The Green River in North Carolina

I have not even begun to discuss the coastal gems of North Carolina such as inshore saltwater fly fishing. Red Drum, Weakfish, Sea Trout, Flounder, and even BonnetHead Sharks, can be found right from shore or in the marshes during high tide. I have had guides take us on walking trips and poling the shallows spotting the black spots on a tailing Redfish. I fish my 8 weight almost exclusively on the coast and have a blast with it. I still wear my Nectar Sunglasses but the Styles I prefer on these trips are the Folly and the Islamorada. They are ideal in these waters and by the time our guided trips are over, the guides are always swearing by them.

Saltwater Fishing in North Carolina

No matter where I fish I always take notice of my surroundings and the beauty around me. I now see things through a different set of eyes and recognize that the landscape our world has is changing every year. The human population is growing and so is our imprint on the earth. One day my kids will have kids and I know that the landscape they see will be dramatically different from what it is today. Forget what we saw 20 years ago. I enjoy my times in the wild and now doing so with the people I love. I recognize that I, like many of us, need to make every moment count. Lets all look at the world through a different pair of eyes. With or without Nectar Sunglasses but let's enjoy what we have today.


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