After this last week’s Arctic blast it’s good to see that it’s warming up. The forecast is calling for some rain and that will only help to warm stream temperatures even further and melt any remaining snow on the slopes and peaks of the Smokies and surrounding mountain ranges.
Don’t get over excited. This doesn’t mean that there will be bugs hatching all over the place and trout rising. There’s a distinct possibility of some high water depending on how heavy the rain is when it’s coupled with melting snow. Still…. It feels better than it has and we’ve seen some nymphs out an moving.
If the nymphs are out an moving then you can be sure some fish will be as well. Stick with the old tried and true winter nymphing methods. Find the deep slots of slow current adjacent to swifter water and you’ll be where the fish are. Don’t be afraid of split shot either. It may mean the difference between a pretty good day and no action at all.
The tailwater situation isn’t great, but it could be worse. Flows on the Holston River are the best we’ve seen in a while but the Clinch is still running at full tilt. Anyone with an itch to jerk streamers should take a boat to the South Holston and fish the lower half of the river. It’s good streamer water and will work nicely with the scheduled flows. The Watauga will have the best flows for waders.