Heavy rain earlier this week put a damper on any fishing opportunities that were available. However, that residual weather from Hurricane Harvey has since passed and the weekend forecast is looking stellar. Clear skies and temperatures hanging in the mid 70’s should provide an outstanding atmosphere to get out and enjoy our East Tennessee outdoors. For the moment, TVA has slowed flows on some of our local tailwaters. Despite recreational flows being officially done for the remainder of the year, Norris is predicting similar flows for this upcoming weekend. Anytime we see the predicted average outflow around 3,000 cfs, we can usually expect a period of 0 generation during the morning hours, followed by 1 and 2 generators through the remainder of the day. Recent reports from the Clinch have been good during the periods of low flows. The usual fly choices will still get it done this time of year. I would scale down my pheasant tail into the #18-#20 range and continue to dredge the bottom with small midges (#20-#22) in darker colors (black, brown, purple, gray).
The flows on the Holston are looking very favorably as well. Expect some periods of low flows, most likely before noon, this weekend below Cherokee, followed by generation throughout the day. We have heard promising reports of good trout fishing in the upper section of the tailwater as the water temps are lowering into safer levels. Below Nance’s Ferry, the smallmouth fishing has been solid. Good topwater action can still be had in the early hours, followed by consistent action on baitfish and crayfish patterns.
Even with low flows expected on our tailwaters, don’t forget about our fantastic fishing in the GSMNP and surrounding National Forest streams. Recent rain has replenished many of those streams that were flowing exceptionally low. This time of year, is a fantastic time to be in the mountains as temperatures cool and the leaves begin to turn. This is also a fantastic time to scout for trophy brown trout. Lower flows can expose some of the larger fish in the streams that are normally hanging in the deepest darkest holes. Whether you are scouting for trophies, or just trying to catch some wild trout, the water temperatures have dipped below that 60-degree mark. This is a good indication of good feeding conditions for those mountain trout. Terrestrial insects are still present on many of these streams and the trout are still counting on these bugs as a supplemental food source. Parachute ants, foam beetles, and small grasshoppers or stimulators are working well. Additionally, I would have plenty of greenie weenies, rubber-legged pheasant tails and Tellico nymphs stocked in my fly box.
It appears we have arrived at that awesome time of the year we can expect during the shoulder seasons here in East Tennessee when everything seems to be synching up. Get out and enjoy the fantastic fly fishing opportunities we have available on this beautiful weekend! If you need further details on anything mentioned above, stop by or give the shop a ring at (865) 200-5271, we’d be happy to talk.