11/14/10
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives
2.    Little Yellow Stoneflies
3.    Slate Drakes
4.    Needle Stoneflies
5.    Little Yellow Quills
6.    Ants
7.    Inchworms
8.    Beetles
9.    Grasshoppers
10.  Craneflies
11.  Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)

Fly Fishing Horsepasture River North Carolina
The Horsepasture River is known for its rainbow trout. Why it is, I really don't know
because it also has plenty of brown trout. My guess is that is has more brown trout
than rainbows. This misconception probably has to do with the state record rainbow
being caught in a private section of the stream. If so, the fact that a large rainbow
was caught in the river is misleading insofar as to what's typical or normal.

Horsepasture River is the shortest river in the National Wild and Scenic River
system. Its length is just over four miles. It's known for its waterfalls and hiking
adventures, not fly fishing; however, it's a very good stream to fish. Its five waterfalls
are all within two miles of each other - Drift Falls, Second Falls (or Turtleback Falls),
Rainbow Falls, Stairstep Falls and Windy Falls. In addition, it has numerous smaller
cascades, rapids, and a huge amount of boulders and rock outcroppings. Drift and
Turtleback falls occur near the trail access point on Bohaynee Road at Gorges
State Park but the stream is not in Georges State Park - it's in the Pisgah National
Forest.

The popularity of the waterfalls is both an advantage and a disadvantage. Its trail
system lets you access the Horsepasture River at several places where you can
begin fishing. The disadvantage is the crowds of sightseers. If you fish during the
Summer, the pools at the base of all the falls will be full of swimmers as well as some
of the other water in the areas near them. As mentioned above, the river is four
miles long and the waterfalls only represent a small part of the river. There's plenty
of water to fish and there are plenty of fish to catch.

The Horsepasture River is formed above Lake Sapphire which it flows through.
Above and below Lake Sapphire the river flows through private property. The first
public access is below the highway 281 bridge. Many think it flows into Gorges State
Park but as mentioned above, it isn't a part of the park. The park does serve as an
access point to its system of trails that access the river.

The Horsepasture River isn't exactly a small stream. It probably average over thirty
feet in width. It would best be described as heavy pocket water. The best strategy
for fly fishing the Horsepasture River is to fish it during the cooler parts of the year
when people are not swimming and the park visitor are low in numbers. We failed to
do this and our first short trip turned out to involve more looking than fishing. The
second time we fished this stream produced five brown trout and no rainbows.

Copyright 2010 James Marsh