Spring fishing has officially arrived here in East Tennessee, unfortunately, so has the Spring weather. The weekend forecast is shaping up to be a doozy with snow being mentioned as a possibility on Saturday morning. Between the wind, changing temperatures and precipitation, Friday through Saturday morning don’t seem like your bets for getting out and wetting a line. Saturday afternoon and all-day Sunday, however, are looking sweet so your only question is, ‘what do I want to fish for?’.
Tailwater trout has been pretty good and consistently improving. We are still getting mixed reports depending on the day and/or time of day our guides and anglers are out there on the water. Most of the trout on both the Holston and Clinch are still primarily focused on smaller fair like midges and smaller mayfly nymphs. The Holston is starting to see some caddis pop off on the right sunny afternoons. If you hit it just right, you may catch a hatch. Your best bet on both rivers is later in the day once the waters have had a chance to warm up just a bit. Both rivers are experience midge hatches in abundance, but it is still mostly a right place, right time scenario.
The lower ends of the French Broad and Holston, closest to town are both chock full of white bass and skipjack. With the Holston at minimal flows, poking up the lower end of the French Broad is probably a better bet as both species prefer a little bit of flow to entice the bite. With whites and skippies showing up in abundance, the big stripers aren’t far off. Small mouth on the tailwaters is still a little slow but the freestones in the area are getting into the swing of things as water temperatures continue to climb.
The mountains may be hit or miss over the weekend depending on how much more precipitation we get. Last night’s rain definitely spiked the flows and most drainages are currently running about twice the cfs as we would normally have this time of year. If we get more rain Friday into Saturday, flows will probably remain a little higher than where we’d like to see them. If not, then Sunday could be set up to be a really great day in the park. Wherever you get off to, be safe and have a great weekend!