Tennessee, as do many states, has a winter trout stocking program to provide trout fishing for people who would normally not have the opportunity to fish for trout because of their lack of proximity to cold-water streams. A couple of days ago, I made it to our local fishing hole at Cumberland Mountain State Park. Byrd Lake is stocked every winter. My preference is to fish it in the spring once the fish have had a couple of months to grow (and color up a bit) but even now the trout can provide an hour or two of entertainment close to home.
Fishing can be good both in the lake and in the stream above and below the lake. I enjoy fishing the stream below the lake as it is a very short walk compared to the jaunt required to get above the lake. The fish are small but generally eager. As fresh stockers, the fish won't require your fly fishing Ph.D. nor your midge box. Instead, a few simple wet flies will generally suffice. My favorite flies are Wooly Buggers and Simi Seal Leeches, preferably with a bead head. I fish them on the swing most of the time although occasionally dead drifting works as well.
If you are in the area and want to get out, try fishing at Cumberland Mountain State Park. You will be pleasantly surprised at how good these fish look considering they are fresh stockers.
And if you decide to go, here is a tip for you: find my favorite stump. Just be careful casting as the trees nearby are hungry for flies...
FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 5/22/2017
Fishing is good to excellent across the area. The Caney Fork River continues to shine on both high and low water. In the Smokies, strong hatches have been keeping fish looking up.
Yesterday, Blue-winged Olives hatched for hours during the light rain and drizzle. Fish were looking up but also took nymphs well. Streamers were moving some quality fish as well. The summer hatches are well under way now. Expect Golden and Little Yellow stoneflies and Isonychia (Slate Drake) mayflies. Light Cahills and Sulfurs have been around as well.
The Caney Fork River continues to fish anywhere from good to great on high water streamer floats. Anyone who wants to target trout with streamers will find this to be exciting fishing. Low water is becoming more and more likely, and if that trend continues we will see some great low water floats. The fish are hungry and we are going into some of the best fishing months on this fine tailwater.
Cumberland Plateau smallmouth streams are rounding into fine shape now. Rain will bump flows up again, but in between the fish are hungry and willing to hammer a fly! Musky floats are about over for the year unless we get more rain.