While you wouldn't know it right now thanks to highs in the 60s today and 70s tomorrow, winter is going to be slow to relinquish its hold over middle and east Tennessee. This warm weather we are experiencing might get a few hatches going, and of course once the bugs start they can't really stop, but realistically it might still be a couple of weeks at best. As recently as 5 days ago it was looking like we might be in for an early warmup that would last long enough to get the hatches going, but now with a strong front moving in tomorrow night and forecast highs by the middle of next week in the 40s at best, I'm ready to tie a few more flies and wait for the main event.
My friend James Marsh over at www.flyfishingsmokymountains.com reported a couple of days ago that some Quill Gordon nymphs he found just outside of the Park were nowhere close to being ready to hatch. This short warmup won't be enough to get the main show rolling.
The 6-10 day and 8-14 day outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center indicate extremely high chances of colder than normal weather for the next couple of weeks. Here are the two graphics for those two time periods respectively.
Yep, it's going to be cold still for a while. On the plus side, the cold weather should include fairly dry conditions which will allow time for the tailwaters to come down after the rain tomorrow. Also, I should mention that some of the best shad kills on the Caney Fork have happened in years that were cold later into March than usual. Plus, all the cold water now translates into happy trout that will stay healthy all summer on the tailwaters.
UPDATE: 5/14/2015 -- Streams in the Smokies are getting lower with the recent lack of rainfall. Dry/dropper rigs are accounting for a lot of fish, especially on the dropper. Yesterday was a great day with lots of rainbows and brookies and even a few browns. Fish were taking both flies but showed a preference for my favorite caddis pupa dropper.
The Caney Fork continues to fish well. On a half day trip this past Tuesday, a brand new angler had a 40 fish day with some nice sized holdovers in the mix including a few browns. Contact me about a float trip if you want to get in on this great fishing at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com or call/text (931) 261-1884. With the holiday weekend and summer coming up, expect the fishing pressure to steadily increase on this river so get out and enjoy it while you can.
Smallmouth are turning on as well now. Last Sunday, I landed my personal best smallmouth on one of my favorite local creeks. This fishing will only improve. Isonychias are hatching on the smallie streams here on the Plateau and Golden Stoneflies should be just around the corner. Over the next few weeks, the streams will transition to great surface terrestrial and popper fishing.
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