Winter to Make Its Debut in East Tennessee and the Smoky Mountains

We’ve seen some classic November weather lately. Sunny but cool afternoons after frosty mornings but change is coming along fast! We’ve already seen the first several days with water temperatures down in the 40’s in the Smokies and we don’t expect things to warm up much over the next few days. If anything they will only cool down more.

Overnight temperatures in the Smokies will be in the teens or low 20’s the next few nights and daytime temperatures will be in the 30’s or low 40’s depending on the elevation. There’s even a chance for light snow! You know what that means… It’s time to break out the nymphs.

I'll be tying more of these and less parachutes

I’ll be tying more of these and less parachutes

Over the past 3 or 4 days we’ve noticed the dry fly fishing has dropped off significantly. It’s still pretty good in the middle of the day but the fish are waiting until later in the day before they start rising and they sure seem to quit a little bit earlier as well.

The good news is that fish are still active in the Smokies and the long range forecast calls for more mild weather so we’re still hoping for some more good dry fly fishing next week.

Underwater Brown Trout

Little River brown trout



The tailwater scene is better than it was, but far from perfect in the Knoxville area. The Clinch has a good schedule for those who either want to fish around Clinton in the morning or upstream closer to the dam in the afternoons. Periods of heavy generation are evenly interspersed in the morning and evening with zero generation after midnight and after noon. There’s a similar pattern at Cherokee Dam on the Holston River and the South Holston as well, but it’s only really practical to fish for trout near the dam there. Water temperatures are surely falling fast on the Holston below Cherokee, but we haven’t been over there in the past week to check.

The best tailwater scene right now is up on the Watauga with its steady flows and we’ve been hearing some good things from up there.