Most folks around here are taking a break from trout and exploring warmwater haunts until the weather turns around. Trout fishing is spotty on the Clinch, but we’re seeing some more wading windows that what we previously had. Plus, the mountains are doing way better than usual for August.

For smallmouth on the tailwaters, they’re keying in on small baitfish in moving water. Poppers and lightweight streamers are best, and mix up different sizes and colors until you get action. In the freestone rivers and streams, it’s best to fish topwater stealth bombers and poppers. This helps you stay out of the rocks and debris to take advantage of opportunistic smallmouth and redeyes.

The Clinch has been hit or miss for many. Lately, it appears that the bright sunny hours have been better than overcast at the current flow. Fairly bigger nymphs in size 14 or 16 have been producing, but fishing small streamers has also been treating some folks well.

The mountains are really benefitting from jumps in flow from the rain. This year has been much better than last, where drought and high water temps really hurt much of the populations in the Smokies and other mountain streams. If we can keep the trend going into Fall, we’re going to have a beautiful and productive September and October.

In other news of warmwater fishing, this is a great time to be chasing carp, striper, and everything else that lives in lakes. Bait is on the move and they typically start moving around shallow ledges in the mornings and evenings. Just like smallmouth in the river, you can typically find multiple species busting them up and catch them with baitfish patterns or poppers.