Soggy Forecast is Good News for Trout Streams

Fly Fishing for Brook Trout in Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Advice From the Guides

It’s still raining here in East Tennessee, but don’t get me wrong. We’re not complaining. After two years of drought it’s great to see my home water looking like its old self. In fact, it looks like we’ll probably end up meeting the annual average rainfall total. The rain we’re getting is slow and soaking; just the thing to recharge the water table.

I drove up Little River yesterday. The river looked good, I haven’t gotten to go fishing in a little while, plus we’ve been working on books about – yes – fishing. I was getting shaky and there was only one thing to cure it. Charity was working on a side design project and grimaced as I headed out the door. She wanted to go at least as bad as I did, but… Well, let’s just say she acted more responsibly than I did and I ditched work to go fishing.

We’ve been getting our new book about streamers together and that had me itching to jerk some streamers through some select spots. High water conditions are excellent for fishing streamers in the Smokies. The fish react best when the water has a little bit of color, but Little River was crystal clear. The fish were all over it!

I had about 15 fish swat or slash at the fly in about 2 hours. I didn’t get any of them to hand, but you could say I was fishing a fly that showed an optimistic attitude. Only the most suicidal of trout less the 12″ would have been able to get the streamer in their mouth. I moved 2 browns that were better than that. One got nicked by the fly, the second charged it but stopped short. I feel positive it broke off the attack because it saw me.

This streak of wet weather has Norris Dam generating a good deal of water so fishing it pretty much out of the question on the Clinch. However, there are some windows of opportunity on the Holston and the South Holston has the best schedules for wading.