Tennessee’s tailwaters running high; Rain forecast for the Smokies


Weather has been pretty mild here in the Smoky Mountains and fly fishing conditions have remained very good. The biggest obstacle to fishing has been a rock slide on Little River Road. The road has been closed between Metcalf Bottoms and Elkmont Junction, the most popular section of the river for fly fishers.

News reports indicate that there was about 30 truck loads rock, but there was more unstable rock the park service was trying to remove before re-opening the road.

The slide is just downstream of Mannis Branch and upstream of Long Arm Bridge.

I guided a couple of anglers for Chicago yesterday on the Oconaluftee River. The river fished quite well, but fish showed a distinct preference for nymphs over dry flies. We picked up a few fish on Parachute Adams, but had far better success on #14-16 beadhead nymphs. All the fish we landed were rainbows, no browns.

Tailwaters Running High

TVA is well into the process of lowering lake levels and that means high river levels on the Clinch, Holston, South Holston, and Hiwassee. This isn’t anything new. These rivers have been running high for a few weeks, but we’re at that time of year when there will only be short breaks for good fishing.

The Clinch has even been running too high for good fishing from a boat, but today and tomorrow it looks like there will be good schedules for floats. The South Holston and Hiwassee are both ideal for floats right now, but too high for wading. The Watauga still has wadeable conditions on the lower half of the river, but there is quite a bit of generation from Wilbur Dam that will have that section of the river high later in the afternoon.


Only 2 spots left; Guided or Unguided