We have a good chance of rain every day this weekend, but next week is looking cooler and drier. However, the rain this week will help us avoid the dismally low and hot water that plagued freestone streams last summer. Tailwaters are running a little higher as a result, but there are still some opportunities to get out and fish for trout and smallmouth.

The Clinch, due to an out-of-order generator, is still running 1 gen around the clock with some limited wading opportunities in the mornings. This is great for those that have a boat, but wading anglers looking for a time to plan should look at the Rec. schedules this weekend. If we get less rain than predicted, we may also get some midweek wading opportunities in the morning.

The Holston was cool for much of the summer, but we’re definitely seeing temperatures that are too high to ethically trout fish. On the bright side, smallmouth fishing is good there and on the French Broad. Topwater on the tailwaters and the freestone smallmouth streams are a good option when you can sight fish, or just move along the bank to hit shady spots. Unweighted or lightly weighted streamers will work well also.

The mountains are fishing well considering the time of year. Tried and true yellow dry flies are still working, but shift your focus to terrestrials like ants and beetles. If the river or stream that you’re fishing rises from rain, it’s not a bad idea to switch to over to nymphs under an indicator.