We’ve gone a little while without rain and the stream levels are starting to show it. Fortunately cool over night temperatures are keeping the fish and bugs happy. We’ve seen some really nice Trico hatches early in the day and they have kept fish watching the surface. These are extremely small mayflies so you’ll need to fish something no larger than #18. That’s still a tad on the big side, but true to form, Smoky Mountain trout appreciate the effort and won’t be too picky so long as you meet them half way on fly selection.
Ants and beetles are still producing, but work best in the middle of the day. I took Kevin Caiaccio way above Elkmont a few days back. The ant had mixed results. It did draw a ton of fish to the surface to check it out, none really ate it with reckless abandon. That was still early in the day and the fish were certainly more interested in small bugs. A switch to a #18 Hi Vis Parachute Blue Wing Olive got several fish on the line in short order.
We made one of the longer walks this year and Kevin accomplished a pretty rare feat, a Little River grand slam. He caught rainbows all day, several to 10″ or a little better. He landed one 9″ brown just downstream of the confluence of Fish Camp Prong, then caught a handful of brook trout just up Meigs Post Prong, a good size tributary that flows into Little River about 6 miles upstream of Elkmont.
Charity and I are leaving for our “Home Away From Home”, the Yellowstone region of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. We spend a little more than 2 weeks there every September and began hosting fly fishers at Kelly Galloup’s Slide Inn on the Madison River. Tim Doyle is covering the guided trips while we’re in the Rockies and will keep us up to date on water conditions in East Tennessee. We’ll keep you posted on our progress and will check our email and voice mail when we can. We’ll be camping for a good portion of the trip and National Park Service campgrounds still aren’t set up for wi-fi. See you in the Rockies!