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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After a long delay I finally got out on Nantahala Lake to target the Kokanee Salmon. Had a fairly decent day. Boated a nice 18" male. Lost another at the net. Had a number of strikes. They were biting light. All the action was at the "Narrows" and green was the color of choice. It has been cold up here at the lake and no thermocline has formed. Marked fish all over the water column. Things should get better in the next few weeks as the lake warms up and the thermocline forms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I usually catch 2 to 3 rainbow trout a season chasing Kokanee at Nantahala Lake. Most trout are caught in the dam area. I think the depth of the lake @200+ feet plus I think there is an under water current caused by the submerged intakes that feed the penstock which sends water to the generation station several miles down stream. This current may also attract trout to the dam area. The trout seem to be above the salmon. The trout are usually 14+" and vary in color. As the lake is not stocked by the state, I assume they are being naturally reproduced. However, the Rainbow Springs Sport Club may have a private stocking program for their beautiful stretch of river in the upper Nantahala. Some of these fish may be migrating down to the lake
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have never caught a brown or brook trout in Nantahala Lake. The stomachs rainbow trout I cleaned from the lake never contained any whole fish or minnows. The only thing I found were insects, small mollusks and crustaceans. The browns if any exist might be foraging on young salmon.
 

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Man those are cool looking fish, wish it wasn't such a haul up there, but my wife wants to come get one of those lakeside cheeseburgers so might try a trip soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Burgers

Man those are cool looking fish, wish it wasn't such a haul up there, but my wife wants to come get one of those lakeside cheeseburgers so might try a trip soon.
Those burgers at Lake's End Marina are really good. I agree that trailering in this part of the world is a pain. However, If you want a reasonably good chance to catch a Kokanee the next 6 weeks or so are your best bet. They can be found between 24' and 60' depths. After that they begin to scatter and go deep.
 

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Thanks for the tip, near dam end or rivers, don't mean to get your spots, well maybe I do. Thanks either way and holler if you see my boat up there. James
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Nantahala Dam

Green Organism Plant Red Adaptation The dam area is good place to catch kokanee but not always the best. The dam area will the most productive area especially in July. The old Nantahala river bed from the "narrows" to Little Choga Island, to the Rocky Branch channel to the dam on the forestry side are good choices now. Some of the most productive dodger squid combos are shown in the picture. Don't waste your time on conventional lures like spinners/plugs/spoons. Live bait like worms or minnows are also non productive. PM me maybe you can come up to Nantahala some morning and I take you around in my skiff and maybe some of what I said here will make some sense. Tight lines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
wax worms

Some anglers do tip the hooks of their lures with wax worms. I usually tip my lure hooks with Green Giant shoe peg corn. Tipping does make a difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Mixed Bag

Got out for a couple of hours before the weather got ugly(wind and lightening). Caught these two.

Food Staple food Fish Grey Ray-finned fish

Plant Green Outdoor bench Musical instrument Grass The Rainbow trout was about 20" and the Kokanee about 16"
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
IMHO a 4 to 5 pound Kokanee is from Nantahala Lake is very possible. I lost one at the net(I panicked) several years ago the was by far the largest I have ever hooked. Perhaps it was a sterile 4+year old fish?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Kokanee Trio

Went out for my weekly Kokanee hunt. Took awhile to find the fish but when I did I boated these three. Food White Seafood Fish Grey See that little tool on the bottom left. It is a pin bone removal tool. Got it for my birthday and it really works well on the trout and kokanee I have cleaned. No more needle nose pliers
 
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