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CATCH & RELEASE TIPS
Use barbless hooks. If you use a net, use one made of rubber. It is less harmful to fish scales, gills and eyes. Only net your fish if it is the only way to control it.
Wet your hands when handling fish. Dry hands and gloves will remove its protective mucous (slime) coating and scales. These protective layers help prevent infection by waterborne disease. Do not beach a fish or let it flop around the deck of the boat.
Try not to remove the fish from the water. If you must, be quick and gentle, do not squeeze the fish. If barbless, lift the line until the fish falls away. The removal of a deep set hook will probably harm the fish. Use bronze hooks and simply cut the line. Hook will dissolve in a couple of days and won't hurt the fish.
To revive the fish, hold it under the belly and by the tail, keep it in an upright position underwater, do not move the fish back and forth (this is also a good time to get a measurement and take a photo). If you are fishing in a river or stream, hold the fish facing the current. Be patient and give the fish as much time as it needs to recover and swim away on its own.
Although trout in western North Carolina streams commonly feed on many species of aquatic and terrestrial insects, the three families of aquatic insects that trout feed upon most often are May Flies, Caddis Flies, and Stone Flies with Midges and Terrestrial insects comprising the the rest of their insect diet. However, be aware that there are several less common species of aquatic insects that trout also feed upon when presented with the opportunity such as Dobson Flies, Damsel Flies, and Crane Flies. In addition, each of these insects with the exception of Terrestrials has an aquatic nymph or aquatic larval stage as well as a terrestrial adult stage and thus, since fly fishing is all about imitation. Stonefly need well oxygenated waters hence tend to fast flowing waters and winter runnoffs.
See these articles for more about flies:
Fly Hatch Chart North Carolina Smoky Mountains
Please contact Laura Kennerly 336-707-7665 lkennerly for more details.