Every year for the past 3 years or so, east Tennessee has had a cold first week of March. I was always glad to be heading out-of-state to places like the Everglades and the Grand Canyon for spring break. Also, each year had a warm second week of March. Since spring break out here in Colorado fell on the second full week of March, I was hoping to hit the weather right in Tennessee. So far it looks like everything is working out!
With snow and cold temperatures in Tennessee right now, I'm glad that I'm not walking the banks of Little River looking for a hatch that may never start. The long range forecast calls for moderating temperatures. That means that while the bugs haven't exploded yet, they might be trickling off in fishable numbers upon my arrival.
I've been patiently waiting for spring break but my patience is quickly wearing thin now. With only a week to go, I'm now tying flies during every available moment. Last night it was #18 Parachute Adams to match the Blue Quills. Today it will be more of the same as well as larger #12 and #14 flies for the Quill Gordons. I've stocked up on my Copper and Partridge Soft Hackle as well to match the caddis that will also be around. I tied plenty of Tellicos and other stonefly patterns weeks ago and am fairly confident with my supply there. Still, there is rarely a fishing trip that I feel completely prepared for. If all else fails I'll be stopping by to see my friends at Little River Outfitters and picking up a few extra flies if I run low.
Lately I've been paying special attention to Ian and Charity Rutter's fishing report as well as Josh Pheiffer's. Both are excellent area guides that frequent both the mountain streams as well as the tailwaters. The most recent reports indicate that bugs are hatching sporadically but in general the big hatches have yet to happen. I guess I don't have a lot of options and will have to try and stay patient for another week. Going home will be a nice treat for spring break!!!
UPDATE: 11/25/2015 -- Smokies Fly Fishing Report: The streams of the Smokies have dropped back to great levels but water temperatures have been chilly. Things should improve over the next two days as both days and nights should be warmer. Even on the colder days this week, fish have been active during the warmest hours. Midges and sporadic caddis activity are even bringing some trout to the surface. When you do get out, note that brown trout are spawning and should be left alone when on redds. Please avoid walking on and near the redds this time of year. The ability of the brown trout to successfully reproduce is essential to the future of the fishery. If you do not know what a redd looks like, avoid walking on the fine gravel (golfball and smaller) in riffles and the tailouts of pools. Fish that are paired up in these areas are probably spawning and are best left alone.
Caney Fork Fly Fishing Report: The Caney Fork is fishing well at times but only average during others. The good news is that you may get a shot at some better than average trout. Recent floats are giving us approximately a 50/50 mix of rainbows and browns so that part is nice. Float or wade trips are best done as 1/2 days this time of year with the current flow regime. Contact me about a float or wade trip if you want to enjoy this fishing at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com or call/text (931) 261-1884.
Cumberland Plateau Fishing Report: Smallmouth bass fishing is about done for the year and I'm transitioning towards fishing for the big toothy critters. Yesterday we moved 4 fish and had one eat from a solid 40"+ fish that came unbuttoned. Stay tuned for more on this great fishing as we head deeper into the cold season.
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