It’s been a little while since we’ve had something to write about due to the poor conditions we’ve had lately, but looking at the 10 day forecast for our area we are in the clear……for now. We’ve got a small cold front coming though tonight but the rest of the week looks good.
The streams in the Smokies have been running high for a while and it seems like every time the water starts to come down we get more rain and it starts to rise again. The only good thing is that the rain leaking into the streams is warm which has kept the water temps up. If you watch the water gauge for the Little River (link on our home page) and find it down one day get out and fish because it will probably be good.
The only thing that has been fishable lately has been the Holston River below Cherokee Dam and it’s been spotty at best. The generation schedule has been very irregular the past week. Some days the river is high, some days it’s low and others it fluctuates every 3 to 4 hours. Mix these schedules with sporadic weather and the fishing can suffer. The biggest reason (from what we’ve seen) has been the lack of bug life moving around and hatching. When this happens the fish can be very finicky and hard to move.
The Holston was off all day yesterday, which was a shocker so naturally we had to load up the boat and take advantage of the flow. At first the action was pretty slow with a few fish here and some nicer fish coming unbuttoned at the boat, but things got a lot better around lunch time, right around the time the rain started. Most of our fish came on nymphs (pheasant tail and hares ear variations) and streamers fished low and slow through the deeper runs. There was the occasional pod of rising fish that would take a dry but were easily put down if over fished. Most of the bugs we saw were midges bouncing off the water along with a few caddis here and there.
The unpredictable weather keeps us on edge looking for the next time when we can get out on the water. Sometimes the flows and the weather don’t line up, heck they hardly ever seem to this time of year. If you just have to get out of the house and need to wet a line, you can expect to fish in less than perfect conditions. Even if the weather isn’t great the fishing can make up for it, plus you might catch a glimpse of a something spectacular that you couldn’t have seen while staying at the house.
We’re getting ready for Spring by tying flies in hopes of seeing an early Quill Gordon hatch. Hopefully we’ll see them a few weeks early like we did a couple of years ago, but by the look of things lately all we can do is hope. We’re starting to book trips for the Spring and looking forward to getting folks out on the water for some great dry fly fishing. The Smokies along with our local tail waters can fish well starting in late February/early March and if you’re looking at getting out then give us a call (CONTACT US), we’d be glad to have you. Take care everybody and be safe on the water.