A Mild Start to Winter

This is the day of the year when we typically expect our guide business to drop like a heavy stonefly nymph with two BB shots. The Thanksgiving weekend is usually the last weekend of the year when we can count on being booked although the weather is never a sure thing.

Charity fishes a dry with with a Tenkara rod on Little River in the Smokies

Charity fishes a dry with with a Tenkara rod on Little River in the Smokies

When people ask how long fishing is good in the Smokies we usually point to Thanksgiving weekend as the landmark on the calendar. It’s usually good up to about that time and it’s usually right in there when the weather cools down enough for the fishing to slow down. Some years the fishing slows down a little earlier than that, but Thanksgiving is pretty much what we expect when we’re weeks or months away.

This year we’ve seen a mild slow down with some frigid temperatures, but that was only for a few days and we’re looking at an extended forecast of some pretty mild weather. We’re in the midst of some pretty solid rain right now which is bringing up stream flows, but that should settle out in a couple of days and you can be sure with water temperatures in the 50’s (yes the 50’s!) the fish will be pretty cooperative.

We’ll be fishing Zelon Nymphs and Pats Nymphs to be sure along with some Tellico Princes in the mix. With these water temperatures we’ll almost be surely be casting Parachute Adams too!

As always on the Clinch, big fish and little fly

As always on the Clinch, big fish and little fly

So far the tailwater outlook is in good shape, but if the reservoirs receive a big push of water this will mean increased flows. Midge fishing has been shaping up on the Clinch and there are some really nice fish right now. Water temperatures have dropped on the Holston below Cherokee Dam as well while the South Holston and Watauga are almost always good choices in the winter with good nymphing between fish rising to olives or midges.