Tailwaters Running High But Mountain Streams in Great Shape

After last week’s heavy rains across the Southeast all of the tailwaters in the region are running high. Wading is out of the question across the board but floating on the Watauga or South Holston is an option for those with a boat and an itch that needs scratching. Those rivers have flows that are pretty negotiable while the Clinch isn’t entirely out of the question, but not exactly what we’d think of as perfect either; essentially a streamer situation while hoping for the big one.

Running nymphs on a sunny afternoon on Little River

Running nymphs on a sunny afternoon on Little River

On the other hand, mountain streams that were blown out last week are just about perfect this week. Flows have dropped to seasonable levels and water temperatures have risen to unseasonably high levels. You shouldn’t expect the best dry fly fishing of the year, but with water temperature around 50 degrees or perhaps a little higher later this week you might as least consider a dropper rig.

Dun Caddis

Little Dun Caddis have been hatching in good numbers on many streams so you may find a few fish looking up. In addition you may see a few Blue Wing Olives and midges. No big hatches, but perhaps enough to keep a few fish in the mind set of rising since Smoky Mountain trout are notoriously surface oriented.

The safe money will be betting on nymphs and we’ll be using Pats Nymphs, Zelon Nymphs, and Tellico Princes. If we catch a few quickly on the nymphs we’ll probably start to experiment with Thunderheads, Parachute Adams, and Hi-Vis Parachute Olives if things really develop.