It’s pretty safe to say that we’ve been at our annual fishing low point here in East Tennessee and the Smoky Mountains. Our tailwaters have been running pretty high from the excessive rains at Christmas and our streams have been running pretty cold for the last two weeks. We didn’t near so much snow as almost everyone around us this past weekend. We got 4″ or less here on the Townsend end of the Smokies which isn’t all that much when you consider that Nashville was pushing 10″. After a bright and sunny day yesterday most of the snow has already melted.
All the snow and mostly cold days has had stream temperatures down in the low to mid 30’s but it looks like this could be a break out week. The weather forecast is calling for clear weather and afternoon highs in the 50’s by the coming weekend. Consider that local reservoirs have finally gotten back down to winter pool and we may see a diversity of options for fishing in a few days. The Holston and Clinch should both have favorable schedules and the creek fishing should be the best we’ve seen in about a month.
But temper expectations. It’s still January.
The tailwater guys could luck into some good midging risers, but even there the nymph patterns should be the best way to hook a trout. Up in the Smokies the pragmatic angler will go with a double nymph rig and might even consider a small split shot in the deeper runs.
Hold your horses. It’s not too long before the spring hatches kick into gear. Give it about six weeks or maybe less and you’ll need to round up those bottles of fly floatant.