Water Conditions Improving in the Smoky Mountains

Water levels are still pretty high but the good news is that they are starting to get negotiable for fishing again. Don’t expect to be able to wade anywhere and there’s a good chance you won’t be able to cross the stream, but there is a good chance you’ll be able to catch a fish.

Our 8 year old daughter breaks in her new fly rod at Tremont

Because the water is pretty high you shouldn’t rule out nymphing. Nothing out of the ordinary, but Copper Johns and other quick sinking patterns will be valuable. These are superb conditions for a big Tellico Nymph, especially the big rubber leg variety. It’s time for golden stoneflies to hatch and these big nymphs are perfect for high water.

But be careful! Water conditions can be tricky when they’re high; even more so on high elevation streams. We’ve had several conversations this week with folks were surprised that we weren’t recommending most high elevation streams in spite of high water.

The main reason is because in the Smokies high elevation streams also mean high gradient. High water conditions will turn many of these streams into one long continuous cascade or waterfall. Pretty dangerous and tough to fish too. That doesn’t go for all of these streams, but bigger streams in the lower elevations may be a better choice.