This year’s emergence of brood x cicadas was everything you could imagine. Bass and carp were the main targets where I chose to fish, but there were places to target trout as well if you were willing to travel a ways. The next semi local periodic cicada hatch will be three years from now. At that time, Brood XIX will return to Tennessee as well as quite a few other states. We’ll enjoy that one in both middle and East Tennessee with both warm water and cold water fishing opportunities. In the meantime, we have a lot of great fishing to experience NOW without the periodic cicadas.
Tailwater Fishing Report
Both the Caney Fork and Clinch Rivers are fishing well now. The Clinch has been good most days but we have had a couple of tougher days when they decided to go with one generator all day. The fish have mostly settled into a routine of feeding heavily on the morning low water. They will take a couple days to adjust if this routine gets interrupted. There are still a few sulfurs around, mostly on the lower river. Otherwise, expect midges to get the most accomplished. This river is one of the best midge fisheries I know of. If you really want to get your hatch matching skills put to the test with tiny flies, the Clinch is the place to do that.
The Caney Fork has featured a seemingly new schedule every week. They have tried a two hour early morning pulse and a one hour early morning pulse. Both schedules have provided some good opportunities. The best thing about either is that it keeps cold water downriver through the heat of the day. Moving forward, this river will do much better IF the Corps of Engineers continues working to keep the river cold enough. Unfortunately, the unintended consequence of “fixing” Center Hill Dam has been not enough cold water staying in the river. This has had numerous side effects, not the least of which is making the river more hospitable to the stripers that migrate into the river in the summer.
Regardless of the challenges facing the Caney, it is currently fishing well during periods of low water, so get out there and enjoy what this river can offer when things are going well. The good fishing may not last more than another 2-4 weeks, so enjoy it while you can.
Great Smoky Mountains Report
The Smokies have been fishing well lately. Most of the best fishing has been on dry flies or dry/dropper. It is a bit surprising, but nymphs haven’t been as effective of late. That is good news for the dry fly angler. In particular, we have been enjoying time on some brook trout streams lately. Lower elevation streams are starting to warm up a bit more than we prefer. Hiking uphill to the cool higher elevations is a pleasant way to spend a day in the mountains.
Yellow dry flies are probably the best option right now, but fish are also hitting a variety of mayfly imitations. Beetles are starting to catch a few trout along with some ants and inchworms. Isonychia mayflies are moving around and their nymphs will provide good fishing on the larger Park streams like Little River. Some of the largest trout I’ve caught in the Smokies came to my Isonychia Soft Hackle during the summer months. Golden stonefly nymphs are another good choice for the big brown trout.
Water levels are still decent, but we could use another good shot of rain. Right now, there is rain in the forecast for the next couple of days and also late in the week. This should help moving forward as we go into the hottest part of the summer.