Today was a great day to be in the park and there were a lot of folks fishing. I got there around 11:00 am and there was a good amount of brown stones on the water and some tan caddis on the banks. Nothing was rising to the bugs, but it didn’t stop them from taking nymphs. Around 1:00 pm the unthinkable happened and a Quill Gordon hatch came off on Feb. 3rd. This has been a weird Winter but I’m not complaining when #10 bugs are flying around.
This guy’s wings hadn’t dried fully yet and was a sitting duck.
Once I noticed that the hatch was steady I put on a #12 dry and on the next cast caught this nice rainbow.
The water was around 2.4 ft and though I didn’t temp the water, Quill Gordons usually start hatching at around 50 degrees. The air temp got up to 62 degrees so it was a very nice day to be out and I’m sure we will get a cold front at some point, but if you can, get out and enjoy it while it lasts. Last year I found a nice fish feeding on dries and I missed it 3 times and so did some of our clients, but Tyler caught it and redeemed us.
Today that same fish was in that exact spot feeding on dries again, but he didn’t get away this time.
It is really cool to catch fish on dry flies, but catching a big fish on a dry in the park is uncommon. With these big bugs hatching it is probably the best time of the year to do it. To most folks February is still too cold to fish and there aren’t many people in the park which is why the fishing can be really good. If you have cabin fever and need to get out and fish give us a call and let us show you the Smokies best hatch of the year.