Hiking & Fly Fishing for Brook Trout: A Change of Pace

After a solid week of float trips on the Holston and a weekend at TroutFest I scored a couple of days off. Besides sleeping a little later than I would if I was hitching up the drift boat, I spent some time with Charity and the kids. Yesterday Charity and I packed up the kids for a hike and headed up into the Smokies for an afternoon hike to a stream full of brook trout.

A colorful change from rowing a drift boat and pulling an anchor

A colorful change from rowing a drift boat and pulling an anchor

We waded wet, but I still think it’s probably a little early in the season for most folks. Let me say it’s certainly a knee-deep or shallower proposition. Water temperatures are still in the mid 50’s on most streams.

Dry fly fishing is certainly the best way to go on mid to high elevation streams right now. The bigger streams will fish best with nymphs through most of the day, but expect great hatches of Light Cahills and egg laying flights of Yellow Sallies in the evenings.

Flows are beginning to change on the tailwaters. Waders should pay extra attention to generation schedules as TVA has started to kick up the flow on several rivers. The Clinch and Hiwassee will both see higher flows this week, but both should have good windows for waders to get on the water. The float scene will certainly improve on those rivers.

The South Holston  and Watauga Rivers both have ideal schedules for wading this week. Wilbur Dam is generating some water in the evenings, but there should be no impact for waders on the lower river.

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Fly Fishing for Brook Trout in Great Smoky Mountains National Park