Busy Days Guiding the Smokies & Tailwaters

Yup, the guide season is in full swing and we’re covering some water now. Water levels in the Smokies are still a touch on the high side, but compared to the truly high levels we’ve become accustomed to they seem pretty good.

Holston River Rainbow Trout

This solid rainbow trout ate a Zelon Nymph during a recent float trip

We just got our first look at the Carolina side of the Smokies now that Newfound Gap Road has been repaired. We ran into some old friends plus a few other long time fly fishers from the Asheville area on the Oconaluftee River. All of us had essentially the same experience: few if any fish rising to dry flies with decent action on nymphs. In fact, tack on a split shot and the fishing was pretty good, but OK, we’re not usually accustomed to reaching for the shot dispenser in mid April.

You do what you gotta do…

The tailwaters have been fishing well and we’re starting to see caddis hatching on the Holston as well as some Sulphurs on the Clinch. Having said that, keep your strike indicators handy there as well. Zebra midges are the primary fly of choice along with a #16 Pheasant Tail or Zelon Nymph.

And right on cue here comes another big frontal system with heavy rains….

We’re keeping our fingers crossed but at this rate we’re beginning to expect it.

We’ll see you out there pinching on shot and wearing a rain jacket.