The last handful of days have been rather trying if you are a fly angler in middle or East Tennessee. Right now, we are experiencing yet another rain event that will keep the Smokies unfishable for a few more days. Area tailwaters (and consequently boat/float trips) are going to be too high for quite a few days now unfortunately. Hopefully this rain will ease off for a while now and we can at least get back to Smokies trips.
Smoky Mountain Report
The Smokies were fishing reasonably well before this latest big rain event. I even snuck in a little time to fish for myself. While this seems like play to most people, days on the water are actually very important for guides to stay in touch with what is happening on area streams. Thus, even on our days off, we are still working anytime we’re close to the water. One of my favorite moments was when I went back after a brown trout that a client had missed a couple of weeks prior. I had to try a couple of different times, but eventually I got one of the two nice brown trout in that pool to eat. Read more about that via the Trout Zone blog HERE.
Once water begins to recede from the most recent heavy rains, expect good fishing in the mountains as spring really gets going strong. We are past the first early hatches, but next up we expect Hendrickson and march brown mayflies. Sulfurs, pale evening duns, and other lighter colored bugs are not far off either. Blue winged olives should be around now as well, especially on these lousy weather days we’ve been enjoying.
Tennessee Tailwater Report
Our tailwaters were just starting to fish well when this most recent big rain happened. Unfortunately, it looks like we will be inundated for at least a couple of weeks and in some cases much longer. The Caney Fork will be high for a good long while. I’m expecting a conservative 3-4 weeks until it approaches something more manageable. Of course, that could change from another big rain OR from an extended dry spell.
The Clinch River will be up awhile also. Norris Lake is currently above summer pool which means they’ll be running water for the foreseeable future. As soon as we can get out there again, I expect excellent fishing. The only downside to all of this water is it will mess up some of our fishing later in the year. The sulfur hatch last year was almost nonexistent on the Clinch. Was this because of the huge volumes of water it experienced or for some other reasons? I don’t know, but all that water probably doesn’t help at all.
My current suggestions involve one of three things. Either stay home and tie flies, or look for some lake or pond fishing options, or head for the Great Smoky Mountains. This last one probably won’t be a good option until at least the weekend. Crowds have been bad there as well, so there is that. Anyway, I hope you are able to get out and enjoy fishing soon!
If you need some other entertainment, stop by the Trout Zone blog for more new content including the last installment from our Glacier National Park trip last year!