Rain fell around Knoxville and parts of East Tennessee this morning, and that’s helping bring water temperatures down in the mountains, though we still need more water to get good flows. However, there is plenty of cold water running through the Clinch, and we look on track to have fishable water in the Holston by November if the weather holds.
The Clinch is in a transition period as far as flows, so some days you have sufficient wading windows and other days, like today, you have all day 1 gen flows. Eggs are starting to work, and streamers are starting to produce as well. I’ve heard several reports of folks dead drifting a sparkle minnow along the bottom in a dead drift, paying special attention to mending and getting a long drift down deep. From a boat you can streamer fish. You likely won’t catch as many, but there’s a big payoff for those who are persistent.
The mountains got a little bump from the rain today, but not enough to significantly raise the water level. Hopefully, more rain in the coming week will soak less into the ground and run into the Little River and Little Pigeon drainages to help give the fish a little more room. The temperatures, however, are near prime, so you can fish the entire gamut of low to high elevation streams and find good fishing.
Warmwater season is starting to come to a close, but you can get out and catch Fall crappie, redears, and smallmouth with a fly rod in the lakes. Focus on gravel bars and transition points of shallow to deep. I heard a report this morning of some significant redear activity on small streamers, so change it up and go for them or schooling hybrids if it suits you.
Either way you go, the weather is astoundingly beautiful. Every day is a good day to fish, but there’s something special about Fall here in our hometown.