Fly Fish Streams in the Smokies; Tennessee and North Carolina Tailwaters are All Running High


This is a rare event, but fishing on area tailwaters is pretty tough right now. Everything from Middle Tennessee to Western North Carolina is either generating a ton of water or spilling to reduce reservoir levels. The creeks are definitely the place to be.

While the mountain streams are running a little high, they’re certainly fishable. These stream levels are similar to what we see in March and April.

Fishing nymphs is the smart play, but those who prefer dry flies (and who doesn’t) will still find trout willing to rise. The dry fly fishing has fallen off a bit from what it was a few weeks ago, but the fish are still looking up and they aren’t quite as selective to small flies as they were. A basic #14 Parachute Adams will raise some trout, but keep some #18 Blue Wing Olives handy if you get some refusals.

Be on the lookout for dun caddis to hatch around mid-stream boulders. These small, gray caddis are common in the late fall and early winter.

Anyone who has been making plans to fish on the Delayed Harvest section of the Nantahala River should listen up. It’s unfishable due to high flows. The powerhouse is offline due to maintenance. The lake was drawn down very low for this work but the wet October and November have brought lake levels up too high to work. Nantahala Dam is spilling as a result and you can probably expect that for a few weeks if not longer.

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