Fishing continues to be good to excellent across middle and East Tennessee. We are right in the heart of the best spring fishing right now. Everything is fishing well from the Clinch and Caney Fork Rivers to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and many other places as well.
Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report
The Smokies are fishing well with both nymphs and dry flies now. The spring hatches are in full swing with sulfurs, pale evening duns, yellow sallies, and other assorted mayflies, caddis, and stoneflies. We’ve been seeing some of the giant black stoneflies as well and golden stoneflies should be happening soon. With the warm days this week, the best bug activity has been earlier in the morning until about noon. The hot, bright afternoons have been a little tougher before another burst of activity before dark. I recommend getting up and fishing hard early, then taking a break and hitting it again in the evening if possible.
Hike in fishing for brook trout and backcountry rainbow and brown trout has been good as well. In general, the best fishing in the Smokies happens after a hike simply because you are finding less pressured fish. The fish are hungry and feeding, however, so if you aren’t having luck, consider changing flies or strategies to figure out what they want. Eventually, you should crack the code somehow.
Clinch River and Caney Fork River Fishing Report
The Caney Fork has been fishing well. Flows are all over the place as the Corps of Engineers continues to drop Center Hill Lake. That said, we should start seeing more low water opportunities soon. Streamer fishing has been good lately so that is an option when they opt to run water.
The Clinch River is also fishing very well. This is an excellent time to get out on the Clinch. Just remember, the river has two nicknames, the Cinch and the Grinch. Hope you don’t happen to fish it on a Grinch day. The sulfurs have started and are providing some excellent fishing. Caddis are also happening providing lots of bugs for the fish to choose from. Midges will round out the daily fare and provide the most consistent options. If you aren’t catching fish, downsize your tippet, make sure it is fluorocarbon, and fish midges.