Warm weather is in the forecast for the weekend in advance of some cooler weather headed into the Valley middle of next week. This offers anglers the perfect weekend to get out and enjoy our water. With afternoons in the mid 60s we would expect to see plenty of happy fish out and about feeding actively. While the Clinch River below Norris Dam is looking like it will be flowing through the weekend, boating anglers will have plenty of opportunity to put some fish in the net. I would have two rods rigged if you are able. Set up one rod for deep nymphing, probably 4-7ft. below an indicator with heavy nymphs and midge trailers. Change up your depth depending on the section of water you are in, and remember that leaning on the deeper side is usually a good rule of thumb. On the other rod you can run a long leader with a midge emerger pattern. On sunny afternoons lately we have seen significant midge hatches with some fish eating in the top couple inches of the water column.
Though the clinch will be on generation, we may see the opposite on the Holston River below Cherokee Dam. This schedule would be a relieving site to the wading tailwater angler. We will keep our fingers crossed! If you do find yourself out that way this weekend be prepared for hatches of small caddis. Olive or black elk hairs and X-caddis in sizes #16-20 should do the trick. Per usual, midges will likely be on the menu as well, along with small streamers. Last time Cherokee gave us some wading windows, Brett got up there and managed a few good browns fishing dries.
As mentioned in previous weeks, we are still getting good reports from mountain anglers. The Smokies are in peak condition and afternoon fishing up there should be killer. It is never a bad idea to have some dry flies, but I would also focus on tight lining tandem nymph rigs. In the morning and evening as temperatures cool significantly, I would wager that fish will be deep and not moving much. In the heat of the day focus more on the top of the water column. Don’t pass up small pocket water, and the tail-outs of pools. These areas are often times overlooked by anglers, but fish hold in these places as much as traditional runs.
Cpt. Jon Oody is really dialing in some good Striper opportunities for fly fisherman right now. Many of the fish are pushing smaller bait into coves, and this offers us our best shot at these trophy line sides with the ole fly rod. If you want to get in on a piece of the action give Jon a call at (865) 363-8180.
The shop is fully stocked right now for the holiday season, and we have a variety of new products that are sure to help you better enjoy your time on the water. We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, and is able to get out and fish before the craziness of Christmas begins. Whatever you decide to do this weekend, be safe and mindful of everyone on the water. We are happy to help you in any way, so swing by the shop or give us a ring at (865) 200-5271.