Low and behold, despite it all, Spring has finally arrived here in East Tennessee and miracle upon miracle it looks as if TVA is finally going to turn off the tap on most if not all of East Tennessee's tailwaters sooner rather than later. As of this writing, Douglas, Cherokee, and Norris are all showing greatly reduced flows beginning tomorrow (Thursday). Norris is showing a predicted outflow of 4,350 cfs on Thursday and 3,410 cfs on Friday. That's not a ton of consolation for the wading angler given that it likely means a sustained one generator flow each day, but it is a start. It is considerable consolation for the guides and fly shop owners in and around the area, I can assure you of that!
Predicted flows for Cherokee and Douglas likewise show some interesting possibilities. The predicted outflow on Friday on Cherokee is 5,750 cfs. That could mean a lot of different things with the best case scenario being that TVA switches to peak demand generations schedules and possibly gives some wading opportunities by the weekend. Douglas has a predicted outflow of 7,000 cfs starting tomorrow. That's a heck of a lot less water pumping through the upper portion of the Tennessee River in and around downtown Knoxville and may signal that we still have a chance of getting in on some white bass action. It also tells me that smallmouth fishing is here or very nearly so...
The boys in the shop have been hitting the creeks off of Fort Loudon with pretty fair regularity for the last two weeks targeting carp. With the warm weather forecast for the weekend it will be a good opportunity to get out there and give that a try yourself if you are so inclined. The carp have been in pre-spawn mode so while they are eating they aren't doing so with a great deal of enthusiasm. The gregarious proclivities of pre-spawn carp mean that if the first ten don't eat your fly maybe the eleventh or twelfth will. Patience is a virtue and with numbers of fish seeking the warm low water of the area creek mouths you don't have to be overly patient for the next fish or ten to come along.
The great bright spot in the East Tennessee fishing world has been the fishing in the Park. While the bite and the bugs have waxed and waned a little with the fluctuations in water temperatures, the warm weather this weekend bodes well for some pretty fantastic fishing come Saturday and Sunday. There has been a fair number Quill Gordons, Blue Quills and midges on the Smokies streams so a pocket full of beadhead pheasant tails in a variety of sizes for early fishing and another pocket full of parachute adams (14 through 20) should cover you for the afternoon topwater bite as the water temperatures increase. If you want a real time report of the conditions in the Smokies, Ian and Charity Rutter of R&R Fly Fishing will be in the shop Thrusday evening for the Superfly Happy Hour. Come down and pick their brains before we all sit down to chear on the Vols against Purdue.
With a doom and gloom of what has to be the wettest winter we've ever had now in our rearview mirror it's time to get out there and enjoy yourself. Wherever you go, have fun and be safe!