Finally, we’ve been getting some great flows, and the fish are healthy and hungry! On the Clinch, we’ve had wading opportunities throughout the day while the TVA sluices at night, starting around 6pm and going until 7 in the morning.
The action has been hot on the Holston. Frankly, it’s been hard to find flies that they won’t take. Stick to the earlier hours when targeting trout, as the temperatures will be getting too warm for responsible catch and release.
The French Broad is also giving us some decent wading windows and predictable schedules to plan a float around. Smallmouth fishing is really heating up and the topwater bite is getting hot, though it would be wise to throw streamers for the majority of the day, focusing on shoals and the shady banks.
As for flies, foam beetles are doing well on both rivers along with sulphurs and several varieties of caddis. In the way of nymphs, the tried and true pheasant tail in size 16 is getting the job done. Your standard midge patterns will work as well, though we’ve heard good things come to those who fish olive, purple, and larger red variations.
The mountains are still fishing well. The temperatures are very warm, so the small stream fishing in the backcountry has been best, though nymphing through deeper runs have been productive as well, particularly with a green-wired copper john under a white indicator for a stealthier drift.
Lake fishing has been interesting lately, and more and more folks are targeting carp in lieu of the upcoming Carp Cup. On the lakes, you’ll find blankets of large willow flies all over the water, docks, and your boat if you dock at a marina. Take your 5 weight out with some large stimulators or a more accurate mayfly pattern in a size 8 or 10, and see if you can find rising bass and panfish as you enjoy the festivities of the 4th.
Whatever you do, fishing is great here in East Tennessee, and we can’t wait to get out and enjoy it. Just a reminder that we’ll be closed on the 4th, but opened with regular hours on the 5th!