We may see low temperatures in the 30’s tonight. Then it will gradually warm up by the end of the week. The fishing will improve again.
Trout fishing has been and will be very good in the Smoky Mountains. Trout have been taking dry flies in the afternoons and feeding on nymphs in the mornings. Some days the trout are taking dry flies earlier. That should continue. Hatches are early this year. We are seeing Yellow Sally Stoneflies in good numbers already. Light Cahills or Sulphurs are active. The aquatic insects are plentiful and diverse. Most normal patterns you would use in the late Spring should work now. You may visit our daily Fly Fishing Report HERE for updates. Hundreds of people read this report every day.
Friends of mine who fish the Smoky Mountains streams regularly during the Winter, reported larger than normal catches of brown trout. One of my buddies caught a 30+ brown trout in Little River. Many 20 to 24 inch browns and larger were caught and released by my friends in the Park streams. The rainbow trout are larger than normal too. We are starting out well in the Smokies, even better than last year.
The lowland rivers are fishing good when the water is lower and clear. You will find good action from smallmouth bass on the Little River, Little Pigeon, Abrams Creek and most rivers exiting the Smoky Mountains and Cherokee National Forest. The smallmouth bass were taking poppers, Stealth Bombers and other surface flies as well as streamers. A cold snap during the first week of April slowed the fishing somewhat. After the warm-up during the second week of April the smallmouth bass fishing improved. It is excellent right now or at least it will be when this cold front moves out.
The lower reaches of our larger rivers below TVA dams are fishing extremely well right now for smallmouth bass. Those fish are taking top water flies and streamers. Trout are very active closer to the dams. Getting a decent generation schedule was tough this winter due to the higher than normal rainfall but lately the rivers have been more angler friendly.
The lakes are fishing fair. Smallmouth bass were seen spawning around April 1st. At times the bass were hitting top water flies. That happened when the surface water temperature reached 70 degrees. The colder times, like we are having now forced anglers to use streamers and fish deeper. Warmer temperatures later this week may bring the bass back to the surface. The excellent smallmouth bass fishing, using poppers has not happened yet where I fish. It is coming though, very soon.
Striper fishing has been good so far this year in the lakes and tailwaters. I don’t play that game like I used to but I’m thinking, this is the year to get back into striper fishing. Our police chief in Townsend is an avid walleye fisherman. He told me the other day he is sick of catching all of those stripers completely by accident. He doesn’t like them. He likes walleye. He finds the stripers to be a nuisance. So, here is another great opportunity.
Bluegill and shellcracker fly fishing has been fairly good in the lakes, better than normal for early April. I have still not seen them on the beds. I know it’s early. I expected to see them spawning early like everything else. It may happen any day. Or, we may have to wait two weeks for a full moon.
Fly fishing on the small lakes and ponds is pretty good right now too. Again, this cold snap may slow this fishing for a few days.
I could not report on better fishing overall. Many of you who read my daily fishing report know, when the fishing is not good, I will tell you just that. This has been quite a year for fly fishermen in our area. I can’t remember when fly fishing has been better from January through April since I have lived here.
April 23, 2012