As you might have observed, the tailwaters are running a lot of water. However, fishing couldn’t be better in the mountain
streams and freestone rivers of East Tennessee and Western North Carolina. In Townsend, the rivers are flowing right around their median flow, and the higher elevations are at the perfect temperature.
Earlier this week, brook trout were hitting anything and everything that had a yellow body. Yellow stimulators, yellow sallies, yellow caddis, etc. Nymphs would also be handy to have in the case of a rain event, or a dry dropper with either a rubber-legged beadhead nymph or a greenie weenie.
When brook trout are keyed in on dry flies, you can often get away with large stimulators and caddis, sizes 8 to 12. These will not only get their attention, but also keep some of the littlest fish from getting hooked.
The Clinch and the Holston are both running big water, and that’s made it very challenging to go and get on some fish. This is how things go in the early summer before settling into a more predictable pattern. It does mean, however, that the best days of the year are coming soon.
We’ve heard good reports on the French Broad, particularly close to Knoxville as smallmouth start heating up. Folks are catching them on crayfish patterns fished at the mouths of creeks or slowly working about 10 feet off the bank.
As of yesterday morning, we’ve heard reports of june bugs and beetles popping off the water. Once flows regulate, dry fly season will fully be upon us.
The lakes are also fishing well, with the cooler temperatures and cloudier weather making it both comfortable and effective to fish out all day. Throw weighted streamers on a floating line or unweighted streamers on sinking lines in transition areas from shallow to deep. Smallmouth, largemouth, even freshwater drum have all been caught lately.
Either way, it’s going to be beautiful this weekend, so get out there and try something different before the season that we’ve all been waiting for comes upon us.