Flows continue to be favorable on all of the tailwaters in the area, and it doesn’t appear that we’ll have enough rain to affect anything in a big way. If anything, we’re hoping we get enough rain to bump the freestone streams up a bit and cool the temperature down. Even if that doesn’t happen, everything is at a good level and fishing well at the moment.
On the Clinch, the flows have been very favorable for wading, and pretty good for floating if you can adjust your schedule to catch the water. All of the flows have been a low, 1 gen flow that’s perfect for fishing from a canoe or a small Jon boat. Split case sulfur nymphs have produced well, as well as dark, subtle midges or bright flashy midges depending on the conditions.
The Holston is definitely creeping up in temperature, but we still have a week or two of good trout fishing before smallmouth will become the main attraction. Small olive caddis, in a size 18 or even 20, have been producing fish on the dry. Otherwise, almost any variation of a 16 pheasant tail will get the job done. Those fish are hot and healthy, so most have been using 4x tippet to mitigate break-offs.
From the reports that we’ve heard on the French Broad, folks are getting into lots of smallmouth, and some are even coming up to poppers and stealth bombers. Streamers and crayfish patterns will still produce no matter what conditions you’re facing. Clouser minnows, wiggle minnows, and a good ol’ black wooly bugger should always be in your smallmouth box.
In the Park, it’s been hard to catch fish on anything other than a dry fly. Your standard sized yellow sally patterns, stimulators, and other attractor patterns have been working well. It wouldn’t hurt to fish a dropper, so fish a 16 or 14 greenie weenie or pheasant tail. Temps are starting to tickle 70 degrees down at Townsend, but the lower reaches of Little River should still fish well as we get some cooling rain.