Hatches Are About To Start in the Smokies

Early Brown Stonefly

Early Brown Stonefly

It looks like another early spring will soon be upon us here in the Smokies. There was snow falling on the rivers and streams in the Smokies only a few days ago but a relatively mild winter seems to have the insects ready to get started hatching and the fish seem to sense it.

Rainbow trout watching for mayfiles

Up to this point we’ve seen tiny black caddis, little dun caddis, and winter stoneflies. All of these are insects we typically see here and there throughout the winter. In the past week we’ve started to see more Early Brown Stoneflies, Blue Quills, and a very few Quill Gordons. Snow melting into the streams today is keeping the water very cold but a relatively warm rain forecast for this evening will warm the water.

The tailwater situation hasn’t really improved at all but those with drift boats can certainly get some streamer fishing in on the South Holston and Watauga Rivers. In fact, the water has been high for so long it probably wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect some Blue Wing Olives to be found hatching.

We intend to try to get out during several afternoons this week but we’re racing to complete a few projects. We’re digitizing some of our books for use on tablets and we’re updating our website. As solar powered individuals these long days in the basement hooked up to a computer has taken their toll on our sanity at times, but we know it will all be worth it!

We’re looking forward to telling you when the dry fly fishing has picked up!



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  1. Thanks for the info! I’ve been looking at the GoPros and also the Contour and both seem to have their positives as well as the drawbacks. I like the wide angle look of the GoPro for some applications but am not sure if I would like being locked into that look. Thanks again for the details. Hopefully I’ll be able to invest in one of these sometime soon. I think it would be another fun toy to experiment with while fishing.

  2. Great underwater shot! What camera are you using for those? I’ve been starting to think about a new camera lately…

    • Hi David,
      We do almost all of those underwater photos with a GoPro. We have another camera, I think a Panasonic Lumix, that we use on occasion but not so frequently for the underwater images.

      The GoPro is a pretty cool camera and has tons of potential, but it takes a bit of a “user break in” period to get used to it and learn how to use it effectively.

      While they can do things that most cameras can’t, they also have limitations. There’s no zoom and even “narrow” angles are wide by any other standard. With only two buttons they’re not ideal to turn on and get up and running with seconds to spare. It’s best thought of as a camera you turn on and then forget about. In most situations you will have a ton of trash and one or two incredible shots or a few seconds of superb video surrounded by long periods of nothing much.

      You can either set it up to take pics every so often (every 1/2 second on out to just 1 every minute) or set up video to roll continuously. If you are doing a “release” type photo we really like that you have the ability to shoot a burst of 10 photos. Or you can just shoot video in 1080 HD at 30, 60, or 120 frames per second. You can usually find a frame that’s negotiable for a “photo” in that mode as well plus you have video.