This report will be short and sweet. With inclement weather keeping us well outside the operating guide yet again, flood stage water is the hand we have been dealt for the foreseeable future. There are brief glimmers of hope that present themselves, perhaps just enough to scare off spells of imminent depression.
Today, the Holston river below Cherokee Dam offered a wading window. I did not go. Allen did not go. None of the shop employees went. Yes, we do have jobs and school that keep us off of the water from time to time. I doubt we missed much, with dirty water the likely suspect due to all of this glorious precipitation that has graced us. I only got one call from one optimistic angler that planned to venture over there, and I await his report largely because I would like to know the current water temperature.
Norris dam has been releasing an excessive amount of water around the clock, similar to most dams in our area. The additional 6,000 cfs sluice they are adding to the standard 1 generator flow has bumped outflow up above 10,000 cfs. That flow presents several obstacle to anglers, and I have not mustered the courage to try it out yet, ask again in a week or two if this continues and the story may be different. If you really wanted to cast a sinking line in the cold rain, like I usually do, the streamer bite may offer big rewards in way of large pre-spawn BTs. We will see if they give a fishable window on Sunday, but it is evident at this point that Saturday will be another washout.
This is typically the part of the report when I encourage you to head the mountains because the valley is flooded. I can’t use this excuse today, because Little River is currently running 1,430 cfs. Maybe concentrate on some of the upper elevation water as this flow starts to fall.
These are the times where live baiting on the lakes is about the only option to keep your sanity. I cannot really give you the advice you need to do this successfully, as I tend to chase fish the hardest way possible (with a fly rod). If you have a pond nearby that could be a good option. If you are bound and determined to cast a rod, look for large flooded ditches and pooling water along the sides of our major roadways. This will, if nothing else, get you some attention from local commuters, as they enjoy their dry warm car ride in horrific traffic.
Wherever you decide to fish this weekend, be safe and mindful of others on the water. If we can help you in anyway, swing by the shop or give us a ring at 865-200-5271.