We are truly experiencing Halcyon Days here in East Tennessee. It has been at least four, if not five, long years since we have experienced low water flows on our tailwaters during the month of April. I was at a loss on Monday on where to go because literally ever river in the area is fishable and is fishing lights out. If you are not out and about you are truly missing out.
Here is the skinny water; both the Clinch and Holston are at minimal flow during the day if not throughout the complete 24-hour cycle. Sulphurs and crane flies are popping on the Clinch through out the day with heavier numbers popping sometime in the mid-afternoon. Fish are up and happy but the low water conditions make the fishing tough. Expect to use a long leader and light tippet if you want to try and feed any bruisers.
The Holston is experiencing heavy hatches in the latter part of the day, from around five o’clock till dusk. That said, Rock Cox just dropped by and said that the bugs were popping all morning on his half-day float. While the predominant bug is still size 18 (olive) caddis, there is a mix of crane flies and an increasing number of sulphurs in the mix as well. Again, low water conditions and bright light mean you need to get it down to 6x to make them eat. As many of you well know, 6x and a hot Holston fish does not always end well. So be it, better to have danced than not at all.
The mountains are at near normal flows for this time of year and the water temperatures are in the upper fifties. The fish are happy. Lots of bigger mayflies are beginning to show themselves; Cahillls, Hendricksons and sulphurs. I would not head up to the park without a healthy handful of good imitations for these three in my vest. Wherever you get off to, have fun and be safe!