Welcome to Bass Pro Shops and our East Tennessee Fly Blog! The fishing is much like the weather that we have been experiencing as it has been equally great! Leaves are in full color and so are the trout, especially the brook and brown trout. The temperature has been chilly over night and into the morning but has been warming quite nicely by mid afternoon. As November approaches, the temps will gradually become cooler, however, a mild winter has been predicted. So get out there and blue line while the weather and leaves allow it!
Fishing in the Smoky Mountains has been good, but not great. Yet, it is better than it has been in some time. Waters are still and gradually falling so look for your trout to be hiding the riffles and deeper runs. Until we receive some rain to increase the flow of our mountain streams, you may want to consider fishing some of the higher elevation streams. These streams offer classic plunge pool fishing and give trout cooler water temps, more oxygenated water, and more places to hide. Fishing will probably be best in the afternoon once the sun has slipped below the horizon. As seen above, the brookies will be showing off their fall colors and make prospecting these streams worth your while. Dry flies are working as well as nymph patterns. Stick with yellow/orange caddis and stimulators for dries and a parachute Adam's would be a good choice also. For nymph patterns I would suggest green weenies, hares ear, pheasant tails and Tellico nymphs. Around here, it isn't as much about having the right fly pattern as it is presenting the fly in the right way so be certain to make that first cast count and get a really good drift!
Tail waters of the area are fishing good as well. Smallmouth in the lowland rivers should be active and can likely be found in the deeper runs and pools. Reports from the Clinch River are saying that the only bugs present are midges, scuds and occasional sulphurs. Midge fishing is a constant producer on the Clinch. The water temp should be falling and putting the brown trout on the move so we should see some fish begin to make their way upstream closer to the dam. For fly patterns, I would suggest olive, red, and black midge patterns. Try to find something that will stand out rather than blend in with the water color. A size 16 pheasant tail would be a good choice too and maybe even with a flashback. Be sure to have sulphur patterns in your box in case you're on the river and a hatch begins to take place. I haven't heard any reports on the Holston River, but I would venture to guess that conditions are about the same as the Clinch. You probably won't see any sulphurs there. Don't overlook terrestrial patterns such as ants, beetles, and San Juan worms. These can be good producers this time of the year on bigger rivers.
Thanks for being here with us and tight lines!