Damp & Mild Conditions Across East Tennessee and the Smoky Mountains

The weather across East Tennessee has been in a rut lately. Almost daily it’s partly cloudy and rains somewhere. Some days rain coverage is widespread, but more often it’s a patchwork over the area primarily popping up over the mountains and the northern reaches toward Kentucky and Virginia. As far as late summer weather goes this is a pretty good thing since it could be in the 90’s and dusty dry, but we wouldn’t mind seeing at least a couple of sunny days somewhere along the line.

A common scene for the past couple of weeks in the mountains of East Tennessee and Western North Carolina

A common scene for the past couple of weeks in the mountains of East Tennessee and Western North Carolina

The scheduling for float trips has become more difficult lately because of the mix of of TVA flows and muddy tributaries making the best sections of a river pretty soupy. It’s been pretty frustrating and we’ve been watching the radar screen hourly to keep up with rainfall over these tributaries, primarily Coal Creek with runs through Lake City (I still can’t call it Rocky Top yet) and into the Clinch at the I-75 bridge.

We probably watch the weather at least as close as any farmer out there. As a result of our sketchy local tailwater flows we’ve spent nearly all of our time up in the Smokies.

A damp, misty day of fishing high in the Smokies

A damp, misty day of fishing high in the Smokies

A brook trout released by Kevin Caiaccio of Atlanta

A brook trout released by Kevin Caiaccio of Atlanta

All the rain has been great for the Smokies though. September is generally a low water time of year but flows are in great shape and water temperatures are right where the trout like them. Dry fly fishing has been great, even if there aren’t many bugs out and about. Terrestrials are still best when the sun is shining, but the basics like Parachute Adams, Stimulators, and Elk Hairs will attract plenty of wild trout in the mountains. We’ve been using the Tenkara rods a lot lately as they really come into their own during both low water and high water conditions where the combinations of more distance more distance from the fish is either necessary or and advantage while still achieving a perfect drift.

Plus it’s just pretty damn fun and our kids dig it too.

Tenkara - Super effective on wild mountain trout yet so easy a child can do it

Tenkara – Super effective on wild mountain trout yet so easy a child can do it

 

Comments

  1. Just an observation. I am a lifelong resident of wnc and have fished the smokeys over 40 years. Looking at this web site one would think the smokeys belong to Tn. The truth is NC contains over 30,000 more acres in the smokeys than Tn and our trout fishing in my opion is as good if not better certainly with more remote opportunities. God bless.

    • You may have a point about that, Bil, and support your pride in North Carolina’s fine waters. We’re based on the Tennessee side and our reports are based primarily on what we’ve seen in person. We’re always quick to mention much of NC when we have the info.

      If it’s any consolation we don’t mention many of Tennessee’s better tailwaters very often for the same reason. If we talk about it you can be sure we’ve been there recently.

      Best,
      Ian