Editors Note: As a brand ambassador for Redington, Drew Fuller spends much of his time combing the small, wild trout streams that criss cross the mountains of the North Carolina High Country. In this week’s installment of ‘Fridays on the Fly’ he shares his secrets for a method of fly fishing known as Blue Lining and recounts a recent experience helping Redington film the latest episode of their ‘Find Your Water’ series.
There’s nothing better than scrambling around boulders and up waterfalls in pursuit of wild trout. Trout are plentiful in the North Carolina high country whether you’re into fishing stocked waters, nearby tailwaters, lakes, or my personal favorite—the small nameless streams.
People often refer to fishing these small streams as “blue lining.” Blue lining is a favorite amongst Appalachian fly fishermen because the fish are always wild, often untouched, and very abundant.
A lot of our creeks are steep and fairly demanding to traverse, which makes for great pocket water. In my opinion it is these less accessible creeks that provide the best fishing.
In the North Carolina High County, where I do a lot of my fishing, it’s fairly easy to find remote creeks that support wild browns, rainbows, and native brook trout. I’ve located a lot of my favorites simply by searching maps and Google Earth. Generally speaking, the further you are from people the better it gets.
While the fish are easy enough to find, catching them can be another story. Wild trout are well known for being extremely easy to spook.
For best results, I’ll try to conceal myself behind obstacles and keep a low profile in general.
The fish aren’t very picky about the fly but much more so the presentation. You can consistently fish a dry fly year around in these small creeks with lots of success.
So if you are able to stay hidden, get a decent cast, and stay out of the trees, the trout can’t resist.
The average fish size ranges from around 6 to 10 inches, with a handful of 10+ inchers. Though rare, some of the streams can support wild trout in the upper teens and 20+ inch range.
For casting in these narrow runs and fighting the little fish I prefer to use a short little 2 weight fiberglass rod. It’s hard to beat fighting nice wild fish in some very tight creeks. The amount of action you get and fish you can catch in a day on the secluded blue lines is what keeps me going back!
Redington is currently releasing episodes for season 2 of the “Find Your Water” online series. From 2-weights to spey rods, the series will cover a wide range of different fly fishing related episodes. As an ambassador for the brand, I was fortunate enough to be featured in the latest episode.
We dragged the KGB Productions crew up and down a few scenic blue lines and around some other local water. It’s hard enough scaling the creeks and not spooking the fish without all the extra gear and crew. But with a little patience and teamwork, everything worked out great.
Unfortunately, we were very limited as to how much filming we could get in before the rain set in, making the smaller water unfishable. It was an honor to show those guys around and to be able to represent Appalachian blue lining for Redington’s Find Your Water series. Given the circumstances, I still couldn’t be any happier about how the episode turned out!
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