10ft. high and rising has been the theme over the last two weeks due to the drastic rainfall we received, however the weather seems to be calming down again and water levels look good for this weekend.
We are posting this report largely in regards to the weekend schedule that anglers will see on the Clinch River below Norris Dam this week. Project Healing waters will be hosting a tournament on Friday and Saturday, which will determine the generation schedule for TVA. The Clinch has really come to life recently, and there are an abundance of large slot fish in their fall spawning colors who are putting on their pre-spawn feed.
On Friday, October 5, there will be a large wading window during the first half of the day to accommodate the first leg of the tournament, where the veterans will be wading at the Miller Island access area. Water will be at minimum flow from 7am until 1pm on Friday. This means you should have plenty of opportunity to get the waders out and search for some hungry pre-spawn trout. Obviously, plan to expect a large crowd at Miller Island, and it may be in your best interest to opt for another access area such as the Weir Dam or the Jail at 61 Bridge. Saturday, October 6 will offer quite the opposite, with generation planned to start at 5am to accommodate the second leg of the tournament in which the veterans will float. This means that wading anglers who are usually reliant on the recreation schedule should take the opportunity to fish Friday morning or Sunday morning.
Warm water fishing has largely been on hold for the time being, with the French Broad and Holston tailwaters running high water schedules around the clock in order to draw the lakes down for Fall and Winter. Anyone who is scared off by the activity on the Clinch this weekend should find solace in the wild trout streams of the GSMNP. The park is fishing nothing short of excellent at the moment. I was able to get up there this past Sunday to fish around the Elkmont area. I caught several nice fish using large jig style nymphs fished right on the bottom. October caddis are coming off, and I saw a lot of caddis larvae when turning over rocks. Little River is cooling down rapidly, and water levels are perfect. It will not be long before we start seeing large Brown trout starting to stake their claim on spawning areas. This is our favorite time to fish the GSMNP and if you have any questions about where to fish and what to use we are happy to get you ready to fish.
Whatever you decide to chase this weekend, be safe and mindful of others on the water. Swing by the shop, or give us a call at 865-200-5271 if we can help you in any way.