The weekend fishing forecast remains pegged at the awesome level yet again this weekend. With TVA predicting flows on all of East Tennessee’s tailwaters that will accommodate anglers wanting to wade or boat, you’ve got zero excuse not to take dad out for a fish on his big day. The Clinch will have the normal recreational flow on both days which, amazingly, is actually an increase in water from what they’ve been running throughout the week. There is a smattering of sulfurs on the Clinch with anglers reporting more activity with higher flows. You might do well to call your buddy with a boat if your hoping to get in on any dry fly action. If you are out early on the low water remember your midge box and cycle through the colors until you find one the fish like. Smaller is better on the Clinch at the moment even with respects to your beadhead pheasant tails.
The Holston is currently smorgasbord of bugs with sulfurs and caddis popping off in decent numbers throughout the day. The fish do not appear to be too selective having had to suffer through high water through the better part of the Spring. Any well placed caddis pattern with a good drift should entice a strike. While smaller size 18 caddis seem to be working better there are larger bugs about so don’t fret if you feel the need to tie on a size 14 in order to float a dropper nymph during the slower part of the day; the fish will still oblige. Large size 14 sulfurs are also present so pheasant tails in 14 and 18 are a good bet. My youngest and I got out on the lower stretches of the Holston to chase small mouth last weekend with pretty good results. I felt like the fish were a little skittish on the lower flows so we had better luck drifting tequeely flies rather than ripping big streamers. It still seems a bit too early for top water. Water clarity on the lower end may be an issue with all of the afternoon thunder boomers we are getting so be prepared to fish with stained water if you show up and find that’s the case.
I haven’t personally been out on the French Broad in a bit but Andrew got out last week looking for carp and ended up catching a toad of a small mouth. Per my suggestion above on the Holston small mouth, smaller-buggier flies may be a better method on lower flows when the fish are feeling exposed. I hope to get out and do a little exploring on the Broad this weekend so I’ll update you if I do. Like the Holston, the French Broad may be a little stained given the afternoon rains we’re expecting. My go to method on the French Broad when its running muddy is a good crawfish pattern bumped along the bottom. It’s not the most exciting way to fish but it is extremely effective.
The flows in the mountains continue to be nothing short of perfect and the fishing is still about as good. Anything yellow that floats is just the ticket to get a bite. Water temperatures in the lower elevations are little high at the moment so heading up to the higher elevations may help your success rate. Where ever you and Dad end up have fun and be safe!