At long last we have a break from high flows predicted for the weekend! TVA has published the predicted outflows on both the Holston and Clinch for Saturday 5/20 and both look favorable for both wading and floating opportunities. Saturday’s predicted outflow for the Clinch is 2,788cfs which looks suspiciously like a standard recreational flow. In the event you missed it, the Clinch was off yesterday from 7am to 3pm and the fishing was nothing short of fantastic. There were enough sulfurs on the water to have the fish looking up and the beadhead bite was strong (size 16 Quasimodo) fished underneath a dry (approximately 8 inches) or an indicator. Once the sulfurs slowed a bit the fish were more than happy to eat midges (size 18 black or grey) and the bite remained pretty consistent throughout the low water.
Likewise, the predicted outflow on the Holston on Saturday is 3,460cfs. While it is hard to say precisely what this will actually look like in terms of generation I would wager a guess that it will be minimum flows through the morning and into the early afternoon with a 2 generators thereafter. With the Holston running high for the better part of the last few weeks the trout and small mouth should be more than eager to get their feed bags on.
From all accounts the French Broad, which has had a more normal schedule relative to the other tailwaters in the Valley, is still fishing pretty well on the lower end for both skipjack shad and small mouth. Like the other rivers, TVA is going to back off on the generation starting Saturday so this should improve what is already a pretty solid bite.
Throughout the high water in the Valley the mountains have remained consistent and predictable and the fishing is nothing short of fantastic. Fish are all looking up and the dry fly bite is nothing short of fantastic! If you’re headed that way make sure to pack plenty of yellow sally’s or neversink caddis (yellow) and hold on. No matter where you end up this weekend be safe and have a great time.