Weather Begins to Heat Up, Fishing Continues to Hold Up

It’s been another busy week of guiding here in East Tennessee. Again, we’re covering a lot of water from the Holston River tailwater to creeks in the Smoky Mountains.

The weather has really started to heat up, getting in the upper 80’s. It’s not that warm on the stream in the Smokies, but still warm. Wet wading is now starting to become a viable option, particularly for those anglers who prefer to hike in to smaller streams to fish.

The warm weather hasn’t affected the tailwater fishing at all. The Holston continues to fish well, mostly on nymphs, but there are still some caddis hatching along with a few Sulphurs. We’ve heard about some good Sulphur hatches on the Clinch, but the best fishing has come on nymphs. You’ll have to head to the Hiwassee early but you can still fish until about lunch time around Reliance if you’re wading. The Hiwassee has gone into full float mode with its summer generation schedule.

We’re also getting into a pattern of afternoon thunderstorms, a welcome change from the drought conditions of last year. Stream levels are in good shape, although they have been a little lower than average all spring. This hasn’t been all bad, though. Conditions have remained fishable virtually every day this spring while we typically see a few days get blown out by high water during an average spring season.

This brings us to a helpful pointer. Rain makes for good fishing!

This point seems to be lost on a number of anglers we come across. There have been a number of mornings when we’ve been headed to the water after a good rain the previous night. Some fly fishers we’ve seen at the Coffe Shop or gas station seem surprised to see us heading up the river while we’ve been surprised to learn that they expect the fishing to be poor after a rain.

A good rain will often bring water levels up a few inches. This provides excellent conditions. The added flow seems to energize the fish and often spurs insect activity. Furthermore, a little color in the water is an added bonus. The trout can’t see an angler as well and are less likely to spook. Larger brown trout will use the opportunity to move about freely and perhaps ambush prey. Colored water can make for some superb streamer fishing.