Happy October! Fall is a little late, but we finally have cooler temperatures and even a little rain in the forecast to relieve the mountains. We’re also seeing changes in the flows on the tailwaters, so lots of opportunities to wade and float where there is still plenty of water.

It appears that we will have a lot of wading opportunities on the Clinch for the foreseeable future. Today, for example, they didn’t turn the water on until 11, giving ample time to explore both the upper and lower end of the river. Crystal midges continue to work, but don’t rule out small pheasant tails and other nymphs. Sometimes, stripping a good ol’ wooly bugger will do the trick to.

If casting streamers, it’s imperative to have a sinking line. A full sink line is indispensable for getting the fly down to the strike zone, and weight on the streamer isn’t enough in most high-water situations on the Clinch and Holston alike.

Speaking of the Holston, the water will likely continue to stay too warm to fish for trout until the first part of November. Otherwise, smallmouth, carp, and drum will be the quarry until then. Cast small crayfish patterns and sight fish to specimens you want to catch, and they will likely cooperate. The same goes on the French Broad, though we’re still getting reports of good topwater action with stealth bombers and poppers.

The mountains continue to be beleaguered by the lack of rain, but rain is popping up in the forecast, and we’re finally going to see some cooler temperatures. This will bring much needed relief to the mountains streams, and the mild temperatures could set us up for great mountain fishing in October.