The Smokies continue to fish great with dries and nymphs and the water temps are right where they should be for mid Sept. We could use a some rain to give the mountain streams a little more flow but if that’s the only problem then we are doing pretty good. The Little River has pretty much flatlined from the last spike and is at a good flow for fishing dries, sorry for bursting everyone bubble.
Leaves are falling into the water and there has been a cool breeze in the afternoon; it’s definitely that time of year. If you are heading into the area then make sure that you bring some long sleeves with you. It’s chilly by the river in the mornings due to the lows at night being in the 50’s and 60’s, so a light jacket and a cup of coffee will start the day off right. Also wear natural colors like browns and olives to blend in with the background so you can sneak up on the fish.
This guy took a stonefly nymph in the head of a pool.
We’ve noticed the hatches are getting better every week and we have been seeing two very important bugs for the Fall which are the Slate Drakes (Isonychia) and the October Caddis. Both of these are bigger bugs in a size 14 to 12 and happen to coincide with the brown trout moving around before the spawn. It can be an exciting time to be fishing the Smokies because you never know what you’ll hook into. There are still plenty of golden stone shucks on the rocks too and a tellico or prince nymph in the riffle will do the trick.
The smallmouth fishing has been great and topwater fishing is still there, but it won’t last long. As the cool nights chill the surface of the water the fish will want to stay below and streamers and craw patterns will be your best choice. The good thing about the changing of the season is that the fish know what’s going on and they will feed a lot in preperation for the cold, which they have been doing. TVA has been running quite a bit of water on the Holston and French Broad which makes fishing tough but it shouldn’t last long. We have other rivers close by that have had better flows which we will be floating until the generation slows down. Take care and we hope to see you on the water.