After an oppressively hot weekend we’ve got some milder weather in the forecast this week. This should make for pleasant fishing in the Smokies where it’s already cooler than the surrounding area.
I took Randy Ball and his fishing buddy Dennis on a float on the Clinch last Saturday. The weather was hot and muggy but the fishing was pretty good. Most of our action came on #16 Beadhead Pheasant Tail Nymphs, but we also hooked a few fish on smaller midge pupa patterns. Overall, most of the fish were on the small side, but we netted several very nice fish and lost two that I would call exceptional.
Dennis hooked one fish on a nymph that ran upstream. He lost the fish after his stripping finger was line burned! Randy broke off a really nice rainbow that jumped right after he lost it. I’d put the fish in the 18″ range.
The Sulphur hatch is still going, but it’s really not happening in a way to benefit wading anglers. The bugs are coming off late in the day when the water is far too high to wade. We hooked a decent number of fish on dry flies Saturday afternoon.
Still looks like the weekend recreational schedules are the best bet for most anglers on the Clinch, but those who can get out in the mornings may find wadeable water around Clinton.
Smoky Mountain Streams
Water conditions are still perfect in the Smokies and just about anywhere you want to go should be fishing. We’re avoiding the lower sections of Little River as we always do in the summer. Sparse hatches and plenty of swimmer and tubers make this piece of water less productive than other spots.
All of the basic attractor patterns are fishing well and terrestrials are starting to come into their own. I caught several fish a few days ago that took an ant pattern with gusto.