Flows have been excellent almost anywhere you look around East Tennessee and the Smoky Mountain region. Streams in the Smokies are looking good and the fish are happy. Our local tailwaters, most notably the Clinch, have flows that accommodate both waders and floaters. The only trouble has been spotty rain and showers.
While the wet, humid weather has kept us on our toes watching the skies it’s kept the temperatures exceptionally mild for mid August and the constant post-card scenery of mist on the mountains hasn’t been bad either.
While overcast skies are generally favored by most anglers, we remain adamant that the fish don’t care what the weather is so long as it’s constant. In other words, sunny days are fine if the wind isn’t howling with a front on the horizon. Rainy days are OK if it’s not heavy and moving through quickly.
This week has been a patchwork of sunshine, clouds, lightning, and heavy rain. Pretty much everything except sleet and snow. The fish are eating, but there are a few moments when we just shrug when the perfect cast and presentation go by without so much as a look.
If the fishing seems slow we can’t help but notice that there aren’t any birds about either. If the fishing is really good we can’t help but notice that all the wildlife is moving. For instance, when we’re floating and all the herons are way up on the bank and just hanging out, don’t expect the fish to be moving real well. Same thing if all the ospreys are sitting in the tree tops and not circling the water.
I took this photo of two deer fawns along the banks of the Holston River between netting smallmouth bass. As usual, the fishing was good when other animals were active as well.
Right now we’re essentially at the peak of smallmouth bass fishing this year. Water temperatures are perfect for popper fishing and the flows are pretty good on the large rivers. The Holston and Frech Broad have both had some great flows, but you have to know where to find it. Both have high flows for 10-12 hours a day so you have to follow the lower flows down the river for the best action.