Smokies Stream Levels Don’t Get Any Better Than This in August

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It’s been a kind of soggy week here in the Smoky Mountains but stream levels just don’t get any better in August. If I woke up one morning with amnesia and couldn’t find a calendar I’d think it was April or May judging by the amount of water in the streams.

Water levels don't get better than this in August and water temperatures have been in the low 60's around Elkmont

Water levels don't get better than this in August and water temperatures have been in the low 60's around Elkmont

I’ve been on the Middle Prong of Little River and Little River the past couple of days and both are fishing great, but I’ve noticed a few things. We’re starting to get to that point in the year when bigger, bushier flies are becoming less effective on the bigger streams. They will continue to work on the smaller streams way back in the sticks, but the more savvy trout in the bigger streams won’t be fooled so easy.

Anglers will notice mating swarms of Tricos over the creeks in the late morning and early afternoon. These are very small mayflies in the range of #20-22. The damp, cloudy weather has also brought on some olives. A #14 Parachute Adams will pull some fish up, but you’ll probably notice the fish either tend swat at it or refuse it outright. A smaller #18 Parachute will get more good takes.

The fish don’t seem to picky about nymphs. A #16 beadhead nymph should attract plenty of attention. I tend toward brown colored flies like Pheasant Tails, but brighter patterns like Copper Johns should draw strikes as well.

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