Fly Fishing is Excellent Everywhere Across East Tennessee

Sunrise over the world headquarter of R & R Fly Fishing in the Smokies. That's the silhouette of Mount Leconte in the distance.

Sunrise over the world headquarter of R & R Fly Fishing in the Smokies. That's the silhouette of Mount Leconte in the distance.

We can sum up the fishing pretty quickly – It’s excellent where ever you go right now. We’re glad to report that because our guide season really cranked up. We’ll have multiple guides on the water several days this week. Our wading boots and drift boat oars will both get a work out.

The recent warm up has the trout in the Smokies feeding really well now. Over the past few days we’ve seen a little bit of a slump in the dry fly fishing. It really had no where to go but down after a couple of weeks of good Quill Gordon hatches, but fish will certainly eat a nymph if you can’t get them to rise.

Miles Duncan of Knoxville shows off his first trout in the Smoky Mountains

Miles Duncan of Knoxville shows off his first trout in the Smoky Mountains

It’s gotten to the point where we would even recommend fishing the backcountry and higher elevation brook trout streams. In fact, it will be downright hot a few days this week. The leaves haven’t sprouted on most trees yet so there’s no shade from the warm 80 degree temperatures we’ll see this week.

If you’re more of a tailwater angler, TVA has the schedule for you! Conditions are perfect for wading on the Hiwassee, Clinch, Holston, and Watauga. South Holston Dam is sluicing about 500 cfs right now while the generator is undergoing maintenance, but locals should easily find a few places to wade and the increased flow should make the trout less picky.

Keep an eye on the schedule on the Clinch. While there will always be somewhere to wade, there might be a few spots too high to wade during short periods of generation. Midges are still the main attraction, but fish #16-18 Beadhead Pheasant Tail Nymphs to imitate Sulphur nymphs. The Sulphur hatch isn’t that far away.

The real sleeper could be the Hiwassee. We haven’t made it down there this season, but we’re hearing excellent reports of caddis hatches and good dry fly fishing. Fish #16-18 Elk Hair caddis patterns or similar size beadhead nymphs.

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Fly Fishing for Brook Trout in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Comments

  1. Adam Hammond says:

    Hi Ian. I don’t know if you remember me or not. I went to Carson Neman College back in the late 90’s and stopped in a lot at the LRO shop. You and I fished the park a few times together during really high water throwing ugly bugs under undercut banks for big browns.

    Anyway, I live in Guatemala now, but will be coming to the states this weekend for Hazel Creek. I’ll be there Saturday through Tuesday. Any advice?

    Your site is awesome!

    Thanks,
    Adam

    • Adam,
      Good to hear from you! Weather should be pretty good, but expect some rain. It’s spring in the Smokies! Hazel Creek can have some great dry fly fishing, but be prepared with some nymphs. They will work regardless. If there’s a decent downpour that gets the water stained I think you know what to do.
      Good Luck!
      Ian