If you haven’t gotten out on the water, what are you waiting for? Water conditions in the Smokies have been a tad on the high side, but fishing has been very good. TVA has cut generation significantly so river flows are superb on the tailwaters. We have some more time allotted to get on the Holston this week and we’ve only heard limited reports from the Clinch, but everything has been positive.
A Smoky Mountain rainbow trout only seconds after release
Dry fly fishing is what we’re all about in the Smokies and it’s the main event. We’re still using #12 parachute patterns and Haystacks. The old time Thunderhead is also a good in the the big water. Stimulators & Mr. Brownstones are also effective right now as we’re still seeing plenty of brown stoneflies laying eggs in the afternoon. Gotta love the big flies!
With the heavier flows there have been a number of times when a #12-14 Tellico Nymph, Prince Nymph, Pat’s Nymph, or Pheasant Tail will get the job done much more effectively than any dry fly. However, we had an occasion last weekend when we fished dry/dropper rigs and the dry flies got more attention than the nymphs.
Midges are the primary food source on the tailwaters right now, but #16-18 Beadhead Pheasant Tails and Zelon Nymphs are never wrong. Sow bugs in #16 can also be very good on the Clinch.
It won’t be long before we start seeing caddis on the Holston, one of the premier events of our season.
So…. Planning to get on the water yet?