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While many may disagree that there are a few “best” flies when fly fishing the NC delayed Harvest system, I have not found this to be the case. Over the last four or five years fishing NC DH water, I’ve found these five flies to work the best.

  • #5 – Hare’s Ear Bead Head (size 18-22)
    • You’ll find that when fishing delayed harvest there’s no need to get really fancy. This is one great nymph that has brought me loads of success during my time on the public water. You can purchase these here.

BH Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear Nymph Fly Fishing Fly - Size 18 - 3 Pack

  • #4 – Black Stonefly Nymph (size 6-22)
    • As with many eastern US trout streams, the stonefly population is abundant, especially in North Carolina. Depending on what time of year you are fishing, you may need to downsize, but regardless, you can fish these year-round with success. This very generic pattern works.

  • #3 – Midges (14-24)
    • Midges are great flies when you just can’t catch anything. Because midges hatch virtually year round, you can almost bet there’s a trout somewhere willing to munch on your fly. Though many different midge variations work great on NC delayed harvest, I have had the most success with these zebra midges which you can find here, and here.

  • #2 – Micro Nuke Egg (12-14)
    • I’ve just recently started fishing this pattern, and it works great on the stockers. One reason I like this egg is that it’s much different from all the other eggs these fish are used to seeing every day. When selecting flies on delayed harvest it’s more important to choose a fly that that the fish likely haven’t seen than it is trying to “match the hatch.” You can purchase these here.

Orvis Micro Nuke Egg, Shell Pink, 14

  • #1 – Squirmy Wormy (size 12)
    • You’ll never catch me without a squirmy on if I’m fishing delayed harvest. If you’ve read any of my posts prior to this, you know I love these things. I don’t care where you’re fishing, or how late it is in the season, these things work. The only adjustment I tend to make if for some reason they wont eat it is switching colors. You can purchase these here.

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