Quill Gordons? Almost…

It was a beautiful weekend for fly fishing in the Smoky Mountains and East Tennessee. Temperatures topped out over 70 degrees and we all have a big case of spring fever. Our guide season is officially under way, but we’re still fishing almost everyday to take advantage of the great conditions.

Doug Sanders stays true to the dry fly on Little River

Doug Sanders stays true to the dry fly on Little River

We started fishing dry flies last Friday. There were plenty of Early Brown Stoneflies buzzing around, but no Quill Gordons or Blue Quills. My fishing buddy Doug Sanders who lives down the road from me decided to fish strictly dry flies and tied on a Haystack.

I hooked up a few fish on a Prince Nymph, but Doug caught up quickly with the dry fly and I switched over. After about three hours we both landed five fish and missed a few more.

I took Drew Hughes from Tuscaloosa, Alabama fishing on Saturday. Drew was pretty new to trout fishing and awe struck by the scenery. Drew landed about a half dozen trout by the end of the day and missed about three times that many. I rigged Drew with several dry and dropper combos, but most of the strikes came on the dry fly.

We saw a few Quill Gordons on Saturday, but that was it. I swapped Drew’s rig so a #14 Orange Stimulator was on top and it got the best response to a dry fly. Drew also caught and missed some fish on a new nymph we’ve been experimenting with. It’s been a real winner and we’ll be talking about it more in the weeks to come.

Early Brown Stoneflies have been the most common insect recently seen on Smoky Mountain trout streams.

Early Brown Stoneflies have been the most common insect recently seen on Smoky Mountain trout streams.

There is virtually no doubt that our spring hatches will explode this week. The water has gotten a little bit warmer every day and should be in the 50’s for the next few days. We’ve got some rain in the forecast this week as well. It’s good to see a wet week coming. We’re hoping for a normal year with respect to rainfall.