I’m writing this at my home in Townsend where it was 40 degrees on my porch this morning. Yesterday I did a float on the Clinch and I don’t think it was over 70 with clear, blue bird skies. The Smoky Mountain skyline seems to soften as the lower angle of the sun creates a more golden light on the ridges.
Yes, fall is in the air.
I was on the phone with another local guide this morning and we were both complaining about generation schedules on the Clinch. The fishing has been good, so it’s perhaps a bit childish to complain, but generations schedules have had almost no consistency whatsoever. That makes it hard to plan trips for our customers and it also makes it a bit tougher for the fish and bugs to get into a regular groove.
Yesterday we saw more midges than anything else, but the fish showed a distinct preference for a #18 Beadhead Pheasant Tail Nymph. We fished a tandem rig with that coupled with a Zebra Midge. We even experimented to see if the fish just took the bottom fly, but wherever the Pheasant Tail was it was taken almost 90% of the time.
My favorite thing about fall is the great dry fly fishing we have in the Smokies. It’s not unusual to see fish sitting high in the water watching for caddis, midges, and Blue Wing Olives. There’s no need for specific fly patterns, but the most consistent ones are #16 Parachute Adams, #18 Elk Caddis, and #18 Parachute Blue Wing Olives. We’ll be out on the water quite a bit this week. See you there!