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Updated Catawba River info 3-4-11

Started by walt, March 19, 2008, 08:27:36 AM

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Nice youngun and a nicer mature fish.  Thanks for the update.

Stalk softly and carry a green stick.


I  figured since I used this post to find new water I would do my part to help the fishery and keep the good information flowing. First got on the river at 6am and it was cold today about 34. All the fishing was wading no boat, although access is very limited and difficult to wade. No generation today so "safer" wading conditions.  I went with a fishing buddy for backup and ideas on fly selection. The river is still very deep in places and we took care in navigating the holes. Since the limited access we had only a few put in options and had to stay within the confines of the bank to not make anyone angry for trespassing .  I'm not sure if that was a sound rational but i figured its a navigable water and with the high water mark your allowed to float...so what difference does it make if my feet are touching the bottom. But we never saw another person on or near the river all day

Anyway, since the river is wide and and deep getting far enough from the back to throw a SH fly rod is difficult to say the least. So we brought the Spey rods, I fished all day with a 12'6" 6wt I built for large eastern tail waters to throw larger flys and sink tips. 400 grain Scandi head with 6ft sink tip...(cut 7wt sinking like around 7-8 grains per foot sink rate 3-4ips) and 6ft 8lb fluorocarbon tip. Most of the day threw a variety of streamers and larger wet flys... :-X , swinging them throw the different cuts and working streamers back upstream in deeper pools.

My partner threw a lighter Spey rod I built for finesse long distance casting. He has never throw a Two-handed rod so it was quite the challenge for him. A 12' 3/4wt with 280 custom cut Skagit head with 4ft sink tip a 5lb fluorocarbon tippet. He threw much smaller wet flys and smaller nymphs 14-18s. Also with good success.

In total we caught and released 18 Browns all from 9inches to the largest 18inch fish which came on a large black leach fly about 4inches long. ( just trying to help guys)  ;)
The highlight of the day was around 5:30 or so, some Blue Wing Olives (or other super small and similar looking) bugs started hatching and the river had a light cloud of bugs and the fish started to rise and take the bugs aggressively. Not even thinking this was going to happen i didnt have a fly with me or a floating tip to even try and fish for them.   b'; So my partner and i just sat and watched the fish take bugs off the surface for a solid 30 minutes and then headed home.

Hope you guys find this little bit of information helpful. Ill try and answer any questions ( im not a guide or trying to make money just a Fly Fisherman helping other Fly Fisherman)
Also myself and a few of my friends are the only ones im aware of using Spey rods here in NC for trout...so if anyone else is i would love to talk and bounce ideas back and forth.

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Average fish of the day ^^  :D

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First fish^^

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Evening start of the hatch ^^not the best pic

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difficult to wade

I dont post often...but when i do its good?


Thanks for the report. I think they Duke Power has started the switch over from the old pin stock turbins to the new ones. Reason for the no flow. I don't know how long it willl be like this.

Woolly Bugger

cool report, very cool!

thanks for sharing, Cstuck!

ex - I'm not going to live with you through one more fishing season!

me -There's a season?

Pastor explains icons to my son: you know like the fish symbol on the back of cars.

My son: My dad has two fish on his car and they're both trout!


The 9" are the ones they held back from stocking due to the work on the Dam.

They will be fun this summer during the Rec flow. Get ready Boy's.   

Get Bent

February 17, 2012, 23:07:17 PM #35 Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 15:55:06 PM by Get Bent

They're here.... !!!! Those of you who know the river will know what I am talking about! Hopefully a report to follow...  -0-

Konichiwa Bitches!

Get Bent

February 19, 2012, 15:56:28 PM #36 Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 17:17:00 PM by Get Bent

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They are here early...

I talked to the USGS guys on Friday, they had just finished up official flow measurements at the Bridgewater gauge. Duke Energy ran three flows on Friday, minimum, one generator, and two generators. This was for measurement purposes. If you look at the USGS site the graph shows the three stages.

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Keep in mind we are dealing with Duke Energy, so expect the unexpected.

The 1500 cfs flow is a nice flow, I would prefer a 1000 or less though.

Konichiwa Bitches!


So with 1 unit running today the fishing was hard, I did my best to wade the river and managed to land and release 5 small fish after the snow stopped but I had to stick really close to the bank and do my best to keep my footing in the faster water. I don't have a boat so wading is the best access I can get. But I really have enjoyed exploring this river, still hard to figure out and I have a feeling there are some big big fish waiting in some of the really deep holes

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I dont post often...but when i do its good?



Sold mine and sorta wish I didn't now

Water turning off today at 10.Might have to go and try it out.


Nice reports.  Any shuttle options up there yet?


No one is doing it.

Scott might be able to hook you up.


Just in from the Catawba

10 to hand all 9"ers. Plenty of Bugs but not keyed in on them.


I dont post often...but when i do its good?


Anybody got any more information about this river. I am planning on hitting a day in October and was thinking of getting on with a canoe or kayak. So we can hit some of the sections not near the put in points. Is it fishable with a generation if we are in a boat? Also is there a map available? I plan to go by the Morganton Fly Shop sometime soon to see what they are willing to tell me but figure it can't hurt to ask here.



Okay I got out and fished the Catawba today. There where a lot of idiots out today, lots of kayakers and bait chunkers.

I used my Outcast Powerdrifter for the first time as a fishing vehicle and paddle machine. Overall I was very pleased with the performance. I need a ton of paddling practice but I am willing to learn. I got stuck on one rock, I now know to go right and not center.

As far as fish catching goes, nothing spectacular. I brought 5 trouts to the boat/raft. I was nervous about the on coming release so I wanted to get down stream a decent ways before it hit me. Next time I will not worry unless I am above Muddy Creek confluence and probably not be to concerned. A mini hatch happened today with some 16ish Sulphur/light cahill. I found a pod of fish rising and got 3 from that and should of had a lot more. I was slow on my strike on 3 and one of them looked to be worthy of bragging. Also saw a few caddis hatching, but not many fish seem to be keying on the surface.

This was my 3rd time fishing the river and my overall thoughts are positive. Muddy Creek is apply named. The stream gets cloudy after the confluence. For probably a 1/4 mile below the confluence you can see the muddy and Catawba divide in the water. If you go this is good place to key. Fish seem to hide at the divide. I hooked one drifting a large black stone fly nymph. My largest fish to date is a 18-19 incher and there are bigger in there.

I have had a fair amount of luck using wooly buggers but I have only fished during generation or more like they where to start a generation soon after putting in. I want to float it when I can get out and work the holes in a lot better detail.

Yes somebody is offering shuttles, but message me and I am willing to go and maybe take a rowing lesson or 2.

The last picture is one I caught on another trip it was about 16 inches.