It’s really starting to feel like fall in the valley. The mountains have been fishing excellent. The October caddis have fish looking up for dry flies and using an orange Elk Hair Caddis or Stimulator is sure to draw some attention. Try it during the middle of the day when the water is warm, or in the sunny sections of the river. Nymphs under an indicator have been producing as well. Standard stuff like Pat’s Rubberlegs, Hare’s Ear, Copper Johns, PTs and Princes; run two flies at once to get more takes. I typically run a bigger, buggier fly (Pat’s, San Juan) on top and the smaller natural dropper below (PT or Copper John). Tellico River has been fishing really well. The upper wild sections are producing numbers whereas the lower sections are producing big fish from the delayed harvest. Nymphs and streamers are getting plenty of to the net.

The weekend forecast shows rain but for those that brave it, it could really pay off. The slightly stained water and higher flow makes fish feel more comfortable feeding. It also washes in massive amounts of food and discombobulates baitfish. The list of meals brings fish out to feed. Put in the work and get wet in the rain, you just may be rewarded. 

TVA is still continuing their reservoir drawdown, and are generating around the clock during the week. A few people have been catching fish on the higher flows with a mix of streamers and medium sized nymphs. Wading windows on the weekend have been fishing decent with midges and smaller nymphs. A drive to the South Holston would give you all day wading with a mix of BWO and Sulphur hatches. The big fish are on the move and still feeding well.

Smallmouth fishing has slowed down on the smaller streams but there are still fish looking for a meal. Fish low and slow as the water cools. Crawl crayfish across the bottom or bounce Wooly Buggers downstream to get a take. Smallmouth transition to the slower water and deeper pools as the water cools. Focus on those areas. 

Don’t overlook the lakes at the moment. Schools of shad create epic opportunities for chasing schools of largemouth, stripers, smallmouth and white bass. Find the shad and you’re sure to find fish crashing their party. Water levels have dropped enough to make carp fishing easier. They will be cruising the coves and flats looking for anything they can gobble down. Check brush piles and downed trees to find fish feed in the siltation and debris. We are on track for a great fall of fishing and events here in the shop. Get out there and enjoy all East Tennessee has to offer.