As far as the fishing goes, May has been red hot whether it’s been fishing the streams in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, the tailwaters (Holston and Clinch Rivers) for trout or the lowland rivers (Little, French broad and Pigeon Rivers) for smallmouth. Despite the fact of little to no rain and the streams and rivers are low/clear, this hasn’t hindered the fishing at all.
The caddis hatch on the Holston has been great, but maybe the best word to describe it would be reliable. And since the hatch had a late start the bugs should last well into June, at least we hope. The fish are looking up for the adults giving us a pretty good dry fly bite and although there might be slow parts in the day when the fish seem lethargic, nymphs will take up the slack.
Jonathan’s first day with a fly rod and he was up for the challenge. Great fish Buddy.
His dad Jerry wasn’t far behind either.
This time of year fish like these are a lot more active due to the amount of food in the water and the action can be steady through the day. The clear water means you need slightly longer casts with dead drifts right through the fish’s front door. I guess I’ll take the bugs over perfect flows any day of the week, we just can’t have our cake and eat it too.
One of the best sights to see. Bill hooked up with a nice fish.
On the other side of Knoxville on the Clinch River, the sulphurs are getting the fish fired up. The Clinch is known for being a finicky fishery where long casts and light tippet are needed, but with those big yellow bugs flying around there is a little more room for error. TVA has given wade fishermen a break lately and cut the generators off in the early afternoon, but keep a close eye on the schedule so you don’t get stranded.
Those Clinch rainbows definitely win the beauty contest.
As for the streams in the Smoky Mountains there’s nothing else to say other than stay low, wear dull colors and fishing yellow bugs (yellow sallies and sulphurs). To get away from some of the crowds and the heat we have been finding water higher on the mountain and hiking into the less inhabited areas where the boulders are bigger, the water is cooler and the peace and quiet is louder.
Kevin and Ken enjoying the wet wading and dry fly fishing.
June will be here before you know it and although the trout fishing is still great, especially with terrestrials, this is a great time to be targeting smallies. Those post spawn fish will be looking to bulk up and won’t turn their noses away at an easy meal, especially everyone’s favorite…TOPWATER. GIVE US A CALL if you’re planning a vacation to East Tennessee or The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Also check out our Facebook page for quick updates. Thanks for reading the fishing report and have a great day.