The fishing here in the Knoxville area has been excellent recently. This is perhaps greater reflected by our warm water species, but the trout on the Clinch are feeding actively as well, predominately during generation. The Smallmouth bite has been top notch, along with sight fishing large aggressive common carp.
I have been doing very well floating the clinch with clients lately. Dredging the bottom with larger nymphs and attractor patterns seems to be the ticket. When that big stuff isn’t getting it done, the usually fare of midges trailed behind some jig nymphs is a good rig to run. The streamer bite has been fairly consistent as well, for those willing to throw the sinking line for a few hours. I recommend focusing mainly on sculpin patterns, and deep orange and brown are my trusted color schemes these days. The low water angler won’t see a lot of wading opportunity during the weekdays for a bit it looks like. Norris is running around the clock Monday-Friday drawing down Norris for the colder months ahead. The wading angler can still find some opportunities on the weekends. Recreation schedule has still been consistent, offering a wading window in the mornings until 10am. Wading anglers on the Clinch will have to fish small, but the bite can be great. I have had the most success with size #22 midge patterns fished under yarn indicators on 12-15ft. leaders. This time of year you have to fish long leaders, light tippet, and small flies if you want to be successful on low water.
Our warm water opportunities are in peak season right now. The Smallmouth bite has been nothing short of phenomenal. The French Broad in particular has been offering up some banner days. Topwater is the main thing to keep in mind right now if you’re chasing the big smallies. We are seeing lots of fish looking up, and many “wolf packs” of several smallmouth grouped together. Often times these groups are cruising deep pockets and surround shallow flats, with one fish being the leader and several smaller ones with it. Looking for carp and other bottom feeders will often times show you where the smallmouth are as well, as they feed on what is churned up off the bottom by these other species. Allen claims that the new trend is smallmouth following turtles around, so its worth keeping an eye out for that action as well. Large aggressive Common carp are on the feed as well. All of us have had exceptional days lately chasing these unique fish. Right now there is a great surface bite happening for them as well. Beetles and berries placed a few feet in front of causing carp will often times draw them up to sip the fly. All of the warm water fishing right now is revolving around finding a fish before casting. Sight-fishing is the most fun way to fish, so don’t miss out on the action!
The GSMNP is fishing well also. From the looks of it, many anglers are finding success on Little River, as well as the higher elevation streams. This time of year, fish will likely be looking for the coolest water possible, so deep holes are a safe bet, along with tailouts in the mornings and evenings. Deep running nymph rigs are probably your best rig at the moment, given the water where fish will be concentrated. The standard fare of Prince Nymphs, Tellico Nymphs, and Pheasant Tails are what I would focus on. We also have a selection of jig style nymphs that are great for dredging the bottom of the mountain streams. These flies ride hook point up, and will not get stuck not the bottom as often as standard nymphs. Stop by the shop and we can get you all the necessary items for your park endeavors.
Whatever you decide to chase this weekend, be safe and mindful of others on the water. Let us help you anyway we can to be successful on the water. Swing by the shop or give us a ring at 865-200-5271.