Winter arrived with a bang this week. Our first real blast of cold air swooped in on Monday night and some or most of us had at least a little snow on the ground Tuesday morning. The mountains, of course, got more than their fare share of the white stuff and so water temperatures in the Park have plummeted as the snow melts. With water temperatures down in the 30’s, the park has not been the best place to get out and chase trout and that doesn’t look like it’s going to change too awfully soon.
Likewise, TVA has been plowing ahead with emptying the area reservoirs of their excess capacity and there has been precious little opportunity to get out and wade on any of the area tailwaters. I did manage a bit of a session at Coldwater Farms on the Clinch last Sunday. I must confess, I had very low expectations when I left the house, and they were easily met by the fishing I had. Truth be told, I was hauling a lot of baggage that day and just needed an excuse to get out of the house. There is solace in the routine of packing the truck and making the drive to the river. We all need a bit more of that familiar routine as this damned pandemic drags on. The fish (singular) I did manage to catch I caught on a clown egg. I did not really go to Coldwater to catch fish. I just went to fish. The fishing upstream around Miller’s Island and the weir dam has been better and I probably should have headed higher up.
Looking into the crystal ball for the weekend there is not a lot to get overly excited about. TVA is backing off on the flows on the Clinch starting Friday and into the weekend. It’s doesn’t look like there will be wading opportunities but there will be favorable flows for the boating angler. Anything below 7000 cfs can be productive and, as I mentioned above, focusing your attention up stream, Johnson Shoals and above, is probably warranted as the fish go through their spawning motions up towards the dam.
With some rain in the forecast tomorrow, it looks like it is probably a good time to get out the vise and twist up some flies. If that doesn’t suit your fancy, TWRA trout stocking is well underway and more information can be found out about it on their website. I read in the Maryville Daily Times that they are stocking trout in Pistol Creek which runs by the amphitheater and along the greenbelt. That sounds like some good fun and an easy way to spend some time outside. Andrew has been reminding people that Little River through Townsend is being stocked now as well. You could also try some of the delayed harvest waters in the area. Wherever you go, remember, be safe and have fun!