Improving Conditions

After some more rain over the weekend rivers are starting to shape up once again across East Tennessee and the Smoky Mountain region. We started the week with high water once again but the mountain streams have recovered nicely and the next couple of days look pretty nice, although the forecast for the weekend… Did we mention the weather right now is great?

Here’s a pic of Seth Judd fishing through the rain last weekend.

In the Smokies dropper rigs are still the way to go. Fish will rise but lately we’ve done much better on the nymphs. We expect this to change as the water levels drop.

Our favorite dry fly has been a Stimulator. They’re great for high water because they float great. all the elk hair and hackle makes them a great super buoyant and a perfect choice to drop a nymph off the tail end. Another reason they work well is because this is the time of year we see the most large stoneflies in the Smokies. Here’s one of several golden stoneflies we saw yesterday at Tremont.

Maybe the best news right now is that the Clinch has had a really good flow for fishing. Enough water for floating and low enough for waders to find plenty of opportunity as well. We’re hoping this trend continues as our drift boat is starting to wander if it’s the middle of winter since it’s been in the garage much more than it should for summer.

The smallmouth rivers and streams have been the most frustrating of all. They’ve either been too high or too muddy to fish. The Pigeon River below Hartford has been the best bet, but not for anyone without a boat. High flows there all but rule out popping bugs, but you can pick up some fish on streamers. You’ll do even better with a sink tip.

We’re hoping to see the Holston fall out a little bit over the weekend as that should the best water around since its’ typically very clear.