The short and sweet of it is there is plenty of great fishing to be had in East Tennessee. The only catch is timing. Due to a massive rain event earlier this spring and steady waves of weather ever since, TVA reservoirs are brim full and the tail waters are pushing hard, leaving only small windows of hot fishing to be had. A drier forecast seems to be on the horizon which will equate to more consistent, fishable flows.
In this type of situation, the clinch will be the go to trout fishery in the Knoxville area but I wouldn’t forget about the Holston. Due to heavy generation the Holston will likely run out of cold water and be too warm to fish ethically some time in early July. The Clinch however will fish great all summer long, specifically for those who choose to float the river. Pheasant tails and midges still seem to be the name of the game but sulphurs are making an appearance on both rivers.
Smallmouth bass fishing has been absolutely amazing on local freestone rivers with a mix bag of streamer and topwater tactics yielding 40 fish plus a day. Most fish are fun 1/2 to 2 pound fish, but 5 pounders are routinely breaking hearts.
For those of you who have an affinity for stripers, I also have decent news. The conventional tackle game is still very strong, and the fly fishing game is doable but improving. As flows slow down and the water warms up, fly fishing opportunities will increase since the fish will seek out food and cooler water below local dams. We have recently pulled several fish in the 10 to 15lbs class on gurglers and deceivers.
If you’re interested in getting after some big fish this spring, give me a call and we’ll talk about trip options.