Rain will improve Smoky Mountain stream levels; Black bears on the move

Rain is currently falling in the Smokies and this will only improve the fly fishing in the mountains of East Tennessee and Western North Carolina. While water levels have been low, temperatures have been excellent and trout have been feeding quite well.

In past week we’ve had guided trips on Little River and the Greenbrier section of the park. While Smoky Mountain trout are exceptionally skittish is low water, the good news is that they are actively feeding. Midges, small caddis, and Blue Wing Olives are all hatching on the streams and the fishing are rising well. Deeper riffles and plunge pools are producing quite well right now.

So far the rain has been steady without any sudden downpours. This is the best situation for water to soak into the soil and help stream levels. Sudden downpours get the water up in the short term, but do little for long term benefit.

Signs of fall are everywhere. Cool temperatures have started the leaves changing and colors are vibrant. A couple of days ago we saw 8 black bears over the course of the day on the stream. None paid us much attention. In fact, once they saw us they all steered well clear of us so it was almost impossible to get a photo through the forest. The bears are out eating acorns in preparation for winter.  Summer berries and fall nuts have been abundant this year so the bears will be in great shape when they go into their dens for winter hibernation.