Blog/Fishing Reports


We’re still experiencing warm temps here in the Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina!! We are fishing for small wild fish in backcountry locations at this time, and will continue to do so until the 2016 North Carolina fall delayed harvest stockings start at the beginning of October! As of now the bite is still pretty good depending on which stream we go to. Adams Parachutes, yellow Stimulators, and Caddis in sizes 12-18 will get it done if presented properly. poor drifts will result in a long day for the angler!

As far as the 2016 fall North Carolina delayed harvest stockings go that will change everything. the fishing will be red hot here in just a few short weeks. You wont find a prettier place to be in trout water than here in the Smokies that time of year!! Trips are booking every day for this now, don’t miss out on the action!!

**BOOK NOW** 724-986-2652


Western North Carolina Native Brook Trout

Western North Carolina Wild Brown Trout

Wild Nantahala River Rainbow TroutSUMMERTIME HEAT! HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL!! August 2016

With 90 degree days common this summer, you have to get creative here in the Smoky Mountains if you want to catch trout!
First thing is to temp the water on your lower elevation watersheds. If it’s near the upper 60’s to 70 degrees let them rest.
Thats when it’s time to go higher in elevation, and yes this might mean a little hiking. These fish also have less pressure and are more likely to be friendly. If you are still having a hard time finding fish keep in mind how warm it is, the trout will be favoring the more oxygenated water types (Riffles, pocket water). They will also hunker down in the bottoms of deeper pools to relax. There are numerous streams like this in western North Carolina to play on! If you are still struggling give us a call and one of my guides will be more than happy to help you.

Tight lines!

Gordon Vanderpool

February 10th 2015

Location: Western North Carolina

The fishing has been good here lately with some bugs moving!  The Winter Stoneflies have been out in good numbers, and also starting to see some Caddis on certain rivers!  For the dry fly guy, find a sunny patch of river in the afternoon and you’ll most likely see some rising fish.  Dry flies: Size 14 Dark Caddis, Adams Parachutes 14-18.  Nymphs in sizes 14-18 have been a good bet.  Eggs, Hares Ears, Pheasant tails, Midges, San Jaun Worms will all get it done if fished properly.  For you hatch hunters, The major bugs are right around the corner so be ready!  I know I am!

Tight Lines to you all!




September 18th, 2014

Location: Western North Carolina

Well, The summer weather is slowly slipping past us.  As it happens the fishing is starting to improve with the cooler tempertures!  We are about to have some of the best fly fishing of the year in our grasps.  October 1st means the start of North Carolina’s Delayed Harvest season!  What does that mean???  Well, lets just say the trout fishing is about to go through a big change for the better.  Starting the first week of October, North Carolina will start stocking the Tuckasegee river, Nantahala River, West Fork Of The Pigeon River, Snowbird Creek, and Fires Creek!!  All of which are in western North Carolina and on our radar for guide trips!!  We will also have float trips on the Tuckasegee River for trout!!  This time of year is an absolute perfect time for a new fly angler to have a go at fly fishing!!  The fish will be waiting, and are quite friendly to the new fly fisher!  We here at Turning Stones Fly Fishing hope we can be a part of your first fly fishing adventure!


Tight lines,

Gordon Vanderpool


June 20th, 2014

Location:  All water

We’re slipping more into that summer weather pattern every day with tempertures in the mid 80’s on most day’s, with afternoon thunderstorms a possibility!  The fishing has been solid most days with good water flow!  The backcountry locations have been really good lately with the fish really looking to the surface for a meal.  Nothing special needed, small Stimulators, Adams Parachutes, and terrestrial patterns will get it done!  Just make sure to go with different color variations depending on what your seeing where you’re fishing.  For the subsurface angler, the normal stuff will work….Stoneflies, Pheasant Tails, Hares Ears, Copper Johns, and Zebra Midges (in different color and size variations)  I preach proper drift and presentation over fly selection any day 🙂  Get out there and get some fish!!

FOR GUIDING CALL 724-986-2652

Tight lines, Gordon


April 17th, 2014

Location:  Nantahala, Tuckasegee, and Ravens Fork, fly fishing only section!!

The fishing has been great in western North Carolina!!  All of the Delayed Harvest waters Tuckasegee river, Snowbird Creek, Nantahala River, and Fires Creek are putting up healthy numbers on guided trips!!  The bugs have been everywhere the last month or two!  Here are the bugs I’m seeing out there!  Black Caddis, Tan Caddis, Small Dark Stone, Yellow Sallies, Small midges, Blue Quill, Red Quill, Craneflies (looks similar to a mosquito), Quill Gordon’s (some but tapering off), Golden Stones (some), Blue Winged Olive (Nantahala tailwater)!!  Small dark Mayfly imitations in sizes 12-18 will be perfect!  If you see alot of fish feeding, fish the upper water column, and fish everywhere (even the bony water)  If no activity, focus on the pools and runs until the fish get moving!!  Now is the time, get out there and enjoy it!!  If you want to be guided, call 724-986-2652 today!!

Tight lines,



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February 28th, 2014

Location: Raven Fork/ fly fishing only water, Oconaluftee River!

The fly fishing only section has been fishing stellar for a couple months now, and will only get better in the coming day’s!  The first major hatch here in the Smoky Mountains is coming upon us very soon, the Quill Gordon’s!!  The smaller Blue Quill’s are on the water now, along with Midges, and Dark Winter Stoneflies in really good numbers.  The fish are looking up at times to take these small meals, and you will see increasing surface activity as the water continues to drop!!  But believe me folks, thats the calm before the storm!!!  When the Gordon’s show up, it’s on!!  That is of course, if landing a 20 plus inch Rainbow Trout on the surface sounds good to you!!  So now is the time to be on the water!!  If you don’t know how to approach this, give us a call and we’ll guide you to them!  Tight Lines!!

Location: Tuckasegee River, Nantahala River, Snowbird Creek, and Fires Creek!

All Delayed Harvest streams will be getting a heavy stocking of trout the first week of March!!  This is a perfect time and place for someone new to the sport of fly fishing to give it a try!  Lets just say these trout are user friendly so to speak!  So, if you’ve been wanting to try fly fishing, now is a great time to give it a go!!  Let us at Turning Stones Fly Fishing, LLC guide you to your first trout on the fly!  It’s a sight that me as a guide of many years never get’s tired of seeing!  I love it when someone catches their first trout on the fly on my watch, it’s priceless!  Call now to book your trip!


Gordon Vanderpool  Owner/Guide

Turning Stones Fly Fishing, LLC





November 26th  2013

Location:  Western North Carolina!   Nantahala River, Tuckasegee River, and Raven Fork of the Oconaluftee River!

Well folks, The rain is on, and the rivers are all up and really moving as of this evening.  The rain is supposed to slow down over night and then we have a beautiful stretch of weather coming!  As far as the fishing goes, it has been really good on the Tuckasegee, Nantahala, and Ravens Fork for some time now!  With all of this rain our flows should remain up for a while (but fishable)!

These three rivers are all loaded up and fishing great!!  San Juans in various colors, Hares Ears, Pheasant Tails, Price Nymphs, Rainbow worriors, Zebra Midges are all taking fish with regularity!  When tying these patterns dont be afraid to incorporate some flash and hot spots on them, stocked trout cant say no to it!  🙂  For the streamer guy, olive, black, and white are my favorites!  Once again, make them stand out and you’ll be glad you did! 


Gordon Vanderpool Owner/Guide

Turning Stones Fly Fishing, LLC





May 5th 2013

Location: Tuckasegee River, Nantahala River Delayed Harvest, Nantahala River tailwater, Fly fishing only section on the Raven Fork!

We will start with the Tuckasegee River, the fly fishing has been red hot on the Tuck lately!  We have been throwing flashy streamers in olive and black with very aggressive takes!  As far as the nymphing game goes it has also been on fire with the normal bugs being used like, #14 Flashback Pheasant tails, #14 Flashback Hares Ears, #18 zebra midges, #12 San Juans in all colors!!  If your fishing under an indicator, just focus on good drifts and you’ll be rewared!  for the dry fly junkie, Spend some time and look for the little clouds of midges flying on the surface and target those areas with a #22 Adams and they will light it up!!

The Nantahala River Delayed Harvest section is fishing good as well with the same bugs being used!  There are lots of fish in the deep pools, and they are more than willing to munch down your offering!  I’m seeing lots of little Crane flies, Caddis and midges buzzing around!  If you target the edges with really small dries and light tippet you will pick up some wild fish, which is always a bonus!

The Nantahala river tailwater section, AKA Lower Nanty is a different animal all together!  Lots of small mayflies here for the dry fly guy!  Fish #18- 22 BWO’S  and Midges on the edges and you will be rewarded!  However, these fish can be technical in nature for the beginner so I would use  7x tippet here to give you a good chance of getting lots of takes!  If you plan to go subsurface, I would stick with 7x and throw small brown and olive thin bodied may fly nymphs!  The drift must be drag free for best results!!  I love fly fishing here because it has some of the most beautiful wild Rainbows any place around!

The Raven Fork is fishing solid as well!  I have been tossing A mix of the above choices and doing well!  Dont be afraid to use some loud stuff to get those big fish to come alive, you will be glad you did!

At this very moment the streams are all high and cranking with the rain we’ve had!  they will drop and be very fishable in no time!  And when they do, all of the above will get it done for you!  If you have any questions dont hesitate to call!  If you dont have any luck, give us a call and we would be happy to guide you to some fish!  Tight lines to you all!!

Gordon Vanderpool Owner/Guide

Turning Stones Fly Fishing, LLC





April 17th, 2013

Location: Tuckasegee River and The Raven Fork

What a fun day out on the river!  The fishing on the Tuck was good.  Let me clarify that, it was unreal!!  This river is on fire right now to say the least!  The fish were taking all of the usual bugs in rapid fire!  Hares Ears, Pheasant Tails, San Juans, and little olive streamers to name a few.  The best advice for anyone going to the Tuckasegee is throw a tandem nymph rig on the bottom, and hold on!!

As far as the catch and realease section on the Raven Fork go, We were throwing a size 14 May fly attractor trailed by a size 16 pheasant tail with good results!  I did see some big fish looking up,  I love it when that happens!  Best of luck to you!

Book those trips now!  724-986-2652

Keep those lines tight!

Gordon Vanderpool, Owner/Guide

Turning Stones Fly Fishing, LLC





April 2nd, 2013

Location: Nantahala DH and Small Wild Trout Stream

Fly Fishing on the Nantahala was really good today. Fish were rising to dries regularly along with your typical assortment of subsurface bugs. We were throwing San Juan worms, Egg patterns and pheasant tails. Wooly Buggers were working well too!

The key to success on this day, was getting the nymphs down deep and bouncing them off the bottom. If you were not getting your flies down, the fish were not interested.

After 2-3 hours of fishing the DH water of the Nantahala River we decided to fish some wild trout water in Western North Carolina.

It was an entirely different story. The dry fly action was phenomenal with fish leaping completely out of the water after dry flies. What worked well here was a dry dropper rig with a size 16 quill imitation with size 16 bead head dropper. When they weren’t taking the dry, they were taking the nymph.

After about 20-30 fish within a little over an hour, the surface bite tapered off. Everything after that was subsurface, with a tight line tandem nymph rig.

What a great day on the river… Book your trip today. 724-986-2652

Now is the time to be fly-fishing in Western North Carolina

Tight Lines,

Gordon Vanderpool, Owner/Guide

Turning Stones Fly Fishing, LLC