Well ladies and gentlemen, we’ve made it 10 years. We want to thank all of you for making this journey and place possible. Thank you to all you fish-heads out there.
The weather in the valley has warmed over the last week, keeping fish possibilities open. The Clinch River has been running high through the week making it tough to be a wade angler. Floating, while high flows are not ideal, has been fishing well. Getting larger nymphs (PTs, San Juan Worms, and tungsten-beaded bugs) down deep has been producing numbers and good fish for several people on the river this week. Streamers have been producing some fish on the high flows fishing around structure and any current breaks. The Clinch has had some availability to wade in the early mornings on the weekends. The Holston has been running high, but they are ahead of schedule at the moment. If this holds, we might see some low flows in the coming weeks.
The mountains are fishing well. Flows are stable and the water temperatures are cool but good. No need to rush up there when the rooster crows. Get a Cracker Barrel breakfast and coffee then hit the water. On these warm, sunny afternoons you may see some October Caddis or Blue-Winged Olives fluttering around. During the midday warmth a dry-dropper can be effective. A double nymph rig with an indicator can be the most productive throughout the day. Larger attractor flies on top (Pat’s Rubberlegs, Rainbow Warriors, San Juan Worms, Guide’s Choice Hare’s Ear can all be good choices) and a smaller nymph on bottom (Copper John, PTs, Caddis Larva, or various Czech nymphs). As brown trout get into their spawning cycles, eggs will start to produce fish. Fishing below redds can yield rainbows feeding on eggs drifting downstream. Do not target actively spawning fish and avoid redds. Redds are easily identified by a depression of clean gravel. Fish to spawning fish or redds and the Goodfellas will pay you a visit. Show these fish the respect they deserve. They are spending all their energy digging redds, spawning, fighting, avoiding tourists, herons, and otters. A general best practice this time of year is to take a moment to just observe the area you plan to wade and fish in before tramping in the water.
Delayed harvest section can be a lot of fun this time of year. Tellico’s DH is stocked and ready with fish. Go to TWRA to find new DH rivers and areas. Do you research and find a gem off the beaten path. This can be some of the most rewarding fishing and generally you’ll have as much water as you want to yourself.
Bass on the reservoirs have slowed a little bit but people are still catching some on sinking lines with crayfish and baitfish imitations. Fish rock walls, riprap, and tree structure to find fish ambushing unsuspecting prey.