Well it has been a bit since our last report but what an April we had! After months of rain and high water we finally got some blue skies and fishable flows. Per usual, the best weather was had mid-week while more typical windy and wet weather dominated the weekends. Nevertheless, we did see some bugs on both the Holston and the Clinch and fish were caught on dry flies even if the nymph bite was substantially stronger.
As we flip the page on the calendar and May arrives things are looking a bit more contentious with repects to wading flows on most of our tailwaters. While Knoxville was spared a huge dose of rain during the month of April western North Carolina got more than it's fair share and as a result Douglas Reservoir has been above pool and sluicing pretty much since March. TVA still lacks about three feet to get it back down to summer pool so we are still a week or two away from the potential of fishing on the Broad.
Likewise, Cherokee Reservoir is slightly higher than where TVA would like it and as a result they have turned on the taps and are running two generators around the clock. That is unfortunate as the Holston was just beginning to come alive and there were some really decent caddis hatches in the evenings. Hopefully we can get the water levels back in check and have some fishable flows again within a reasonable amount of time.
The Clinch has been a slightly different story with the water being off more than on for the past month. That's beginning to change as TVA has raised the level of Norris up to summer pool. We should still get some wadable flows but perhaps just as exciting we are beginning to get some better flows for drifting. While there have been some periodic hatches of sulfurs on the Clinch on the low water regime. The bluebird days have had the fish and bugs feeling a little circumspect so the better fishing has been during the early morning hours or in the evenings. If you can get out on a cloudy day you dramatically increase your results as the fish are simply happier and more willing to eat.
The flows in the mountains are near perfect at the moment. Like the rest of the valley, the better chance of a hatch is later in the day. Nymphs early, dries late and keep it yellow folks!