For the third year in a row, we’ve had torrential downpours that have filled our reservoirs with high water. This means that we’re going to have high flows on the tailwaters between now and late spring. The mountains are currently high right now but will fall out given enough time without significant rain.
While there’s a general feeling of doom and gloom, there will be fishing around here for the recreational angler who’s willing to adapt. While this area has always been known for the Clinch, Holston, and French Broad, the area surrounding our fair city is endowed with resources and assets to chase a lot of different species (many of them native). With the area lakes, small streams, and the length of the Southern Appalachian mountains within a fairly short drive, there’s lots of water with fishable flows for the adaptable angler.
With the mild and warm winter that we’ve had, the rain is punctuated by very warm and sunny days. This is ideal carp conditions for the Tennessee River impoundments. Focus on creek mouths that enter into the lake, and carefully work along the bank to cast small crayfish flies to foraging fish.
When the mountains fall out, we’ll be expecting sporadic hatches during some of the warm spells. BWOs and Quill Gordons will be some of the first. Otherwise, cover every possible lie with nymphs or a streamer worked close to the bottom.
Don’t forget that the Fly Fishing Film Tour is this Saturday! As long as you get your Valentine’s Day festivities out of the way on Friday night, you’ll join other like-minded anglers to get pumped for fishing here and abroad. Tickets are only $12 at the shop or get them at the door for $15.
Also, don’t forget to take advantage of this time to tie flies. If you’re new to tying or are struggling with certain techniques at the vise, sign up for a fly tying class or schedule a private lesson.