Rain, cold, and way too much water has been a theme here in East Tennessee of late. Despite it all, things are looking up if only just a bit. Mike Bone was in the shop last night for the Superfly Happy Hour and while there was plenty of belly aching between the two of us we both concluded that the truth of the matter is we really aren't in that bad of shape all things considered. TVA has done a phenomenal job of running the better part of the water out of the upper tributaries and provided we don't get any significant precipitation any time soon we will actually have most of the reservoirs back at or just above winter pool in just a matter of days. In fact, Cherokee is due to be below the flood guide and back at winter pool by Sunday!
Norris is not too far behind and with TVA releasing around 14k cfs around the clock it looks like they should have it back in shape by the middle to latter part of next week. While there is some rain in the forecast next week it remains to be seen if it is going to be an appreciable amount or just an annoyance. Hopefully the latter.
Along with the chance of rain comes some unseasonably warm days this weekend. We are going to go to a high of 32 on Wednesday to a high of 60 on Saturday. That's quite a turn around. Flows in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are just about perfect at the moment but the cold snap dropped the water temperatures to a pretty chilly 38 degrees. A little sun over the weekend and some light (warm) rain may be just the ticket to get the mountains popping. If you are heading up there this weekend to try and shake off your case of the shack-nasties you'll probably be best served sticking to the lower elevations where the water temperatures will be higher. If I had to pick between Saturday and Sunday I'd pick Sunday to give the streams every opportunity to get somewhere in the middle 40s.
We had a fantastic turnout last night at the Superfly Happy Hour and will be continuing that next week with our good friend Rocky Cox of Rocky Top Anglers. Rocky will be sharing some fantastic video from around East Tennessee as well as one of his annual trips out west. If you've run into Rocky on the rivers in the last year or so there's a good chance you've heard the faint hum of his drone overhead. He's getting some fantastic footage of the rivers with his drone so I'm sure you'll want to join us to learn more. The happy hour starts at 5 and runs till around 7:30. We hope to see you there!