Water, water everywhere and not a drop to fish! What a wild and crazy prelude to winter we have had here in East Tennessee. If you’re counting, on the 15th of November the rain gauge at the airport had recorded 4.15 inches of rain. The average rainfall for November is 3.98 inches. Further, the year to date average is 41.70” and to date we’ve collected 52.75”. A brace of hurricanes and a couple of northeasters have contributed to our abundance of water this fall and as I type the rivers literally are running at capacity. That’s unlikely to change in the immediate future despite TVA’s due diligence.
With that in mind, I’ve been preparing myself for a long winter of chucking streamers on high water. I’ve had the occasion to run a couple of guide trips on the higher flows with clients happy to give the streamer game a shot. Throwing a heavy sinking line for long periods of time on our swollen rivers is not an easy game and so it was apropos that I gave my buddy Steve Dally a call the other day on an entirely different subject. One thing lead to another and of course our conversation eventually drifted to streamer fishing and strategies to help our clients cope with the difficulties of chucking big flies for unicorns in Arkansas and Tennessee. Suffice it to say, Steve is a wealth of knowledge and much if it can be found here in a recent blog post from the good folks at Flymen Fishing Company. It’s well worth the read.
With good weather in the forecast for the long holiday weekend your best bet is to head to the mountains. While flows are still on the high side of good mid-week, they should continue to fall out and be in good shape by the time Friday rolls around. Thursday and Friday look great with plenty of sunshine but Saturday and Sunday’s forecast is calling for moderate temperatures and overcast skies. The combination of the two can be just the recipe for blue wing olives on the mountain streams. While I wouldn’t bank on any dry fly action over the weekend I’d be sure I had my BWO box in my vest just in case. Otherwise, I’d be prepared to throw heavier nymphs through the deeper pools at the lower elevations hoping to find a post-spawn brown looking to bulk up before winter really arrives.
Weather you get out for a fish or choose instead to stay close to the fire with the family, everyone here at 3 Rivers Angler is wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!