As fall weather makes its way into town, higher flows continue on the tailwaters with lakes being drawn down to their winter pool. The fishing on tailwaters remains good for the wading angler when the generation schedule allows. Fishing early when the fog is still out on the water can be highly productive and present less spooky fish. Pair a small midge with a scud under yarn indicator and do your best to get a long, drag-free drift. Light fluorocarbon tippets can make a big difference.
Freestone streams have been on fire for the last few weeks. We have had a multitude of great days in the GSMNP and are consistently catching fish on dries and subsurface flies. This is one of the most beautiful times of the year to be in the park, so go enjoy this resource that we have so close to home. Just remember, everything you bring into the park needs to come out with you. This is one of the most crowded times of the year in the park for tourists, so we need to be good stewards of the resource and set an example for others visiting the park. We have had multiple good reports from delayed harvest fishing on the Tellico River as well. This is a good time of year to fish that area and avoid the crowds that come in the regular put-and-take season.
Lake fishing for bass, carp and striper is still good. Fish early for bass and striper schooling bait and look for disturbances on the water. Carp can still be found nosing around the flats, particularly in the warmer afternoons once the sun comes out.
We are on track for a great fall of fishing. I encourage you to try something new this year and find some water you haven’t fished before. One could spend a lifetime trying to learn all the water around here and still not have it all figured out, so get out there and take advantage of our many waterways.