Water levels are better this August than they were in the spring of 2007 and 2008. Abundant rainfall has created some high water in the creeks in the Smokies, but they are subsiding quickly. Large streams like Little River and Abrams Creek are difficult to wade, but are certainly fishable in many spots.
Brook trout streams are often the best place to fish in August and that’s no different this year. They are often easier to negotiate when water levels are high on the bigger streams.
The Clinch and Holston Rivers have generation schedules that only be described as inconsistent. Some days they have schedules that allow some fishing and other days they are running high. Plan on fishing the Clinch on weekends when recreational schedules provide good water for fishing.
The South Holston still has good schedules for wading, but those seem to be giving way to more generation that will favor floating.
The Hiwassee is also a boater’s river right now, but there are some days when waders can sneak in early and fish for a few hours.
We know a good number of fly fishers who put their rod away in August and wait for the cool weather in the fall, but smallmouth bass are a prime reason to keep fishing even when the trout fishing gets slow.
Expect muddy water on the Nolichucky, French Broad and lower reaches of the Pigeon. However, there should be some clear water on the Pigeon around Hartford and the ‘Chucky and French Broad should clear up with a period of dry weather.
Lower Abrams Creek near the campground is a superb stream for smallies in the Smokies. Another good stream to wade is the Cheoah River in Western North Carolina near Calderwood Lake.