Hatches in the Smokies

We’re sending this post out via the magic of scheduled posts as we’re hosting a group of anglers on Hazel Creek right now. Fortunately water levels seem to be hanging in there. A weak front with some rain and thunderstorms passed through on Wednesday and we were afraid we were on the verge of more high water.

That’s been a bit of a theme this spring. Today I was asked by one fly fisher what the “secret fly” was right now and I couldn’t help but chuckle and answer “Split shot!”

March Brown

We’re seeing some pretty good hatches right now, but the dry fly fishing hasn’t been what we typically see at this time of year. By now we usually fish dries much more than nymphs, but it seems that this year’s high water has kept the fish on the bottom of the river more than usual. Right now we’re seeing March Browns, Hendricksons, Yellow Sallies, Brown Stoneflies, Giant Black Stoneflies, and a variety of caddis. Can you fish a dry fly successfully? Yes, but don’t box yourself in.

Stimulators with a dropper of a Pat’s Nymph, Copper John, Zelon Nymph, or Pheasant Tail Nymph have worked pretty well on those days when a few fish will rise but a nymph provides a hedge for those fish who aren’t looking all the way up.

The best dry fly fishing is in the afternoon and in water that’s less than three feet deep.

We’ll share our Hazel Creek photos when we get back.



  1. Dave Selph says:

    Have a great Hazel Creek trip guys. Wish I was there.