Winter Fly Fishing in the Smoky Mountains

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Winter has certainly arrived in the Smoky Mountains with the first significant snowfall of the year. We got a few inches of snow here in Townsend, but there was more only a short distance away in the national park. Charity and I took the kids out for a romp in the snow but didn’t get any fishing in.

Snow always makes scenery even better

Snow always makes scenery even better

We headed for the streams in the Smokies but gave the trout the day off

We headed for the streams in the Smokies but gave the trout the day off

I took Tim Wilson of Cullman, Alabama fly fishing last Friday before it started snowing. It was a cold, gray day but the trout were pretty active. We started fishing with a #12 Pat’s Nymph and a #10 Prince Nymph trailer. Tim hooked several fish in short order and every one took the top fly, the Pat’s Nymph. I went ahead and clipped the big Prince off and replaced it with a #14 dark Z-lon Nymph.

Fish took one either of those flies all afternoon. The stream fished particularly well under the circumstances. Neither Tim nor I kept close count of the trout he landed, but it was probably around 15 in four hours and he missed plenty.

One of the many rainbow trout Tim Wilson caught in the Smokies

One of the many rainbow trout Tim Wilson caught in the Smokies

This week we’re expecting the weather the be a bit milder, but wetter. We’re hoping that doesn’t mean more high water levels, but we’ll take whatever we get. Reservoir levels are getting lower and it probably won’t be much longer before we see the tailwaters get fishable. Anyone who lives close the the Clinch might have been able to sneak in a few hours this weekend, but not much more.

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