The Spring Roller Coaster

It happens every year. We get the warm weather and great fishing that we waited for like kids counting the days until Christmas. After we get used to the idea of great weather and dry fly fishing you have to be careful. I’ve been on this spring roller coaster before and this is where I think it’s a good idea to wear a cup because a strong kick to the stones is coming.

Silhouettes of wild turkeys

An idyllic spring scene on the way to an East Tennessee trout stream

This is the time of year when fronts start to roll through. Strong fronts with high winds and heavy rain. It’s already been a pretty tough spring with a bit of high water, particularly on the tailwater scene. The tailwaters have been bearable for those with a drift boat and unbearable for everyone else wanting to fish them.

This is the time of year when you always keep a rain jacket handy. Anyone who has followed our fishing report for at least a season knows what rain jacket voodoo is. Show up without rain gear and you will pay the price. Hike up the river or float downstream in a drift boat without rain gear and you’re in trouble. Even worse, leave it in the car because it looks nice and you’ll deal with lightning. Maybe even hail.

Trout Lily

Product of a wet spring: the Trout Lily

Our float season is starting to get in gear and needless to say, we just keep a dedicated rain suit in the boat at all times. We even keep a few cheap plastic ponchos in the storage box for those who thought it was “just too nice to rain.” If someone simply doesn’t have any rain gear I just come right out and say it, “Well it’s a good thing I have an emergency poncho just in case it does rain.” This declaration to the universe has averted storms in the past.

Smoky Mountain rainbow trout

Rainbow trout from the Smoky Mountain backcountry

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