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.
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.