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: 5/25/2016 Smokies Fly Fishing Report -- Current Hatches: Blue-winged Olives, Sulfurs, Light Cahills, Pale Evening Duns, March Browns, Little Yellow Stoneflies, Giant Black Stoneflies, Golden Stoneflies, Little Black Caddis, Tan Caddis, inch worms, and ants. Fishing is very good now in the Smokies. Hatches are quite diverse depending on which streams you are fishing and what elevation you are at. It is still spring up on the high brook trout streams but almost summer down low. Both dry flies and nymphs are catching a lot of fish now. If you need to learn how to fish these streams, a guided trip with me can help you accomplish that!
Caney Fork Fly Fishing Report: The Caney Fork is fishing excellent right now. Good for both numbers and a chance at some larger fish. Flows allow for both float or wade trips. 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.
Clinch River Fishing Report: Fishing is anywhere from good to slow depending on the day and your casting ability. Long casts, long drifts, small flies. Watch for sulfurs and be prepared with nymph, emerger, and dun imitations if the fish are noticing them. When there aren't a lot of bugs on the water, stick with small nymph, emerger, and midge patterns and you should catch some nice trout.
Cumberland Plateau Fishing Report: Smallmouth are coming on strong now and wade fishing the creeks and streams for smallmouth and various sunfish will only get better from here on out. Some good fish are already being caught on topwater.