End of the Summer

Labor Day weekend is upon us and with it comes the symbolic end of summer even though fall is about a month away. We’ve had some decent tailwater flows lately but his typically changes after Labor Day when TVA moves to drain reservoirs for the winter season. This generally means higher flows although we know hear that construction on the weir dam below Norris Dam on the Clinch will resume next week. That means good flows for wading, but flows too low for floating.

Late evening light over the Smoky Mountains in Townsend, Tennessee

Late evening light over the Smoky Mountains in Townsend, Tennessee

Fishing in the Smokies has held up well this summer and that trend is sure to continue. We’re in the midst of the hottest and driest weather of the year, but it’s been late in coming and can’t last long as we’re on the cusp of September. Autumn is typically the driest season in East Tennessee and the Smokies but always cool and comfortable.

Colors on a wild Smoky Mountain rainbow trout

Colors on a wild Smoky Mountain rainbow trout

Perhaps the biggest sleeper of the season has been the smallmouth fishing with poppers on the Holston River. It would be great if it would last, but we’re afraid that we may be near the end as we’re expecting increased flows from Cherokee Dam to start after the holiday weekend. The popper fishing has really been fantastic this year as the flows have been pretty good but water temperatures have been perfect, anywhere from the high 60’s to low 70’s.

We've seen many fish like this come to poppers this summer

We’ve seen many fish like this come to poppers this summer