Cold Weather Persists, Creek Levels Improve, Tailwaters Still the Place to Be

The cold weather has continued here in the Smokies and we’re on the verge of a case of cabin fever. The weather hasn’t been so bad that fishing isn’t possible, but we’re working hard to get two books ready to go to print. We’ll keep you posted on that. I’d rather go fishing instead of write about fishing any day, but right now it’s the practical thing to do.

Fishing with nymphs could be effective on Little River and other streams in the lower elevations, but don’t bother getting on the water too early. It will probably be close to 11:00 before things get  moving well. Abrams Creek would be our top pick for a stream to fish right now. That’s based on warmer water temperatures from the numerous springs in Cades Cove.

Water levels are pretty good right now; better than we’ve seen in months. More rain is forecast for this week and long term forecasts predict a substantial easing of drought conditions in the Smoky Mountain region. There is supposed to be a slight warm up affiliated with the coming rain, so fishing could be pretty good on Tuesday and Wednesday, even if it’s a wet day. However, we’re expecting snow in the mountains on Thursday. In fact, we can still see some snow on the mountains from our house here in Townsend.

Generation schedules are stepping up a bit on the Clinch and Holston Rivers as TVA continues the draw down of reservoirs. Th rivers are still fishable, but you should keep a close eye on the schedules to hit things just right to maximize your time on the water. There really isn’t a dud among the tailwater choices. The South Holston and Watauga have great schedules. Expect good BWO hatches in the foul weather on the South Holston this week. We keep hearing about great stuff on the Caney Fork and need to make the time to get over there. And don’t forget the Tuckaseegee near Dillsboro, NC. Schedules are good for wading right now and the fishing is always good over there.