A Snowy Weekend in the Smokies

We often joke that we watch the weather more than farmers since we make our living and spend most of our time outside. So it caught our attention a few days back when the forecast called for a dusting of snow in the Smokies. The weather man was very careful to advise people there was no need to run out for groceries since the snow would be light and only in the highest elevations of the Smokies where no one lived.

Fast forward a few more days….


There’s still no real threat to populated areas, but now the forecast is calling for 4-8″ of snow above 2500′ with up to a foot of snow on the highest peaks in the Smokies. For those of you who aren’t real clear on Smoky Mountain geography, Elkmont is at about 2500′ as well as the end of Tremont Road. Newfound Gap is at about 5000′ so with that knowledge you can’t help but notice there’s going to be snow on most of our trout streams this weekend.

This isn’t exactly a novel thing. In fact the tops of the mountains picked up about 18″ of snow a little earlier than this two years ago when Superstorm Sandy passed through on its tear up the east coast. It’s part of mountain life and we’d really be looking forward to it if we weren’t supposed to be out guiding in it.

Here’s our fishing forecast: We expect fishing to be pretty good on Saturday while the snow is falling and temperatures dropping. However, Sunday is forecast to be a beautiful, sunny day and all that melting snow will plunge water temperatures into the deep freeze. Water temperatures have been in the mid to high 50’s so melting snow on Sunday may put the lockjaw on the fish until warm weather returns next week.


Fish in the Smokies have been feeding well this week with good dry fly fishing. We expect the fish to put the feedbag back on next week when the weather warms again. Also, this cold weather will kick the brown trout into high gear. We’ve seen a few sitting out in the tails of pools this week but really expect to see spawners chasing each other around this week. We’l keep you posted.