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Fishing Fontana Lake in NC this summer...anyone been?

Hey guys, my family is planning on taking a trip to North Carolina in June. The house we are staying at is on Fontana Lake up there. Been trying to find info on the lake, and what I have found so far has been very vague and unhelpful. I know there is a dam on the lake. I want to cross off a few spieces on my list while I am up there especially smallmouth bass. Anyone have tips on fishing this lake or tips/techniques on fishing smallmouth? Some of what I have read says they have walleye, muskie and lake trout as well.... anyone know if that is true? Also planning on bringing one of those long rods for whipping around in a stream if i can find one. If anyone knows a productive stream they could point me in the direction of that would be awesome. Hoping for a great trip up there this summer.

Replies

  • tailingendloop77tailingendloop77 Posts: 794 Officer
    June should be good, but Fontana's a tough lake - deep and clear. I've only fished it once or twice, but one of the times vast schools of 1-inch long baitfish were schooled up and moving into the Nantahala River. Bass upwards of 8 pounds would swim through with their mouths open like whales. There are several marinas, boat rentals and guide services on the lake - just do a google search and then send some e-mails. I know there are walleye, smallies, stripers, Muskies (the fish of 1,000 casts) and white bass.

    If you want to catch trout with a fly rod you're in a great spot. On the North shore of the lake, working from west to east, is 20-mile creek, Eagle Creek, Hazel Creek, Forney Creek and Noland Creek. The middle three require a LONG hike to get to, or a boat ride to the creek mouth. Noland Creek is right off the "Road to Nowhere" in Bryson City. Again, June is a great time to trout fish in the Smokies, provided it's not blistering hot and dry.

    Also bear in mind that it's a very long lake, so if you're staying on the east end, it's a long way to the other end, like 29 miles.

    Try this website for quick info: http://www.greatsmokies.com/fontana.php

    Hope this helps... I often ask for Florida information here so I'm glad to reciprocate when the opportunity arises.
  • ShallowExpectationsShallowExpectations Posts: 381 Deckhand
    What lures do you recommend for the smallies, stripers and white bass? My dad is bringing his boat so I will have access to anywhere on the lake. I saw those creeks and planned on getting a ride and dropped off at their mouths to walk along for some trout. thanks for the info.
  • tailingendloop77tailingendloop77 Posts: 794 Officer
    Tube jigs in pumpkinseed, crawdad color beetle spins... I think a some guys throw Carolina-style rigs for the bass. They may be hitting on top in June, so think hula poppers and zara spooks... bucktail jigs in white for the stripers and white bass.

    Now I'm much more knowledgeable about the trouts.... that time of year, the yellow bugs will likely still be hatching: #14-16 yellow caddis, #14-18 light cahills, parachute adams in #12-16 are always popular; trout may also be keying on terrestrials by then (hoppers, crickets #8-12, beetles and ants #10-18). I would use a 7.5-9 ft leader, tapering down to 6X (3 lb). An 8 or 9 ft, 4 or 5 wt fly rod would be ideal. You may also spin fish those creeks with a spinner provided it's on a single hook.

    If you plan to fish Hazel, Eagle or Forney, I would try not to leave my boat unless you have everything locked down. The farther up you walk, the less the crowds and the better the fishing. I've heard that Eagle creek is absolutely covered up in rattlesnakes. The regional daily paper (The Asheville Citizen-Times www.citizen-times.com) publishes weekly fishing reports and Fontana is included - here's the link http://www.citizen-times.com/article/20120405/OUTDOORS/304050037/Fishing-report

    Hope this helps.
  • ShallowExpectationsShallowExpectations Posts: 381 Deckhand
    That's about as good of info as I could ask for especially on the trout. I really want to catch all 3 speices that are there. I will be flyfishing so I will make sure to stock up on those flies thanks a ton. I meant having my dad drop me off on the shoreline and me being able to trek for a few hours along the creeks, but now that you mention covered up in rattlesnakes maybe I will bring a partner along. Great info and thank you.
  • tailingendloop77tailingendloop77 Posts: 794 Officer
    You're welcome. I wish I could be 100% definitive on the lake but I grew up fishing more dingy water. If you can put a decent cast in a feeding lane, you'll catch trout. Put your fly on all sides of rocks, drift the fly along current seams (bubble lines), work for a perfect first cast.... Good luck and let me know how it works out...
  • ShallowExpectationsShallowExpectations Posts: 381 Deckhand
    You just be ready for a report in June. I will have a week to figure out how to catch something out there, and since you gave me some great info I'm betting there is a better chance for me to get some good pictures.
  • greenie-slayergreenie-slayer Posts: 850 Officer
    Trey dont forget we have my yak and i think 2more rental yaks for those creeks. As for snakes, if one messes with me he wil be de-headed skinning and turned into a new pair or snake skin shoe as my old ones are falling apart. If anyone could provide any info on the muskie fishing in this lake i need to knock them off my bucket list.
  • tailingendloop77tailingendloop77 Posts: 794 Officer
    If you guys have kayaks, you could float the Oconaluftee outside Cherokee and also the Tuckaseegee (that flows into Fontana) for smallmouth bass. The Tuck is probably 30 minutes away. I'd put in at the little town of Dillsboro and float downstream to Cherokee. You could have some fun on the Nantahala (class III and V rapids) but also fish for trout there. The state record 15-plus pound rainbow came out of there. The Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) can give you float times, put-ins and take-outs.
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