Great brown from Chad Williams client
Spring is hopefully here to stay in the Smokies! We’ve had plenty of rain so far this month and water levels are looking good all around the area. The two-week forecast projects a bit of a drop in temperature with lots of rain next week which might hamper the short term fishing forecast but will definitely set us up for great late April early May fishing.
GSMNP- Our early spring bugs are starting to come off with some Blue Winged Olives and Quill Gordons hatching pretty regularly. We’re also seeing some caddis of various colors and a few bigger mayflies as well. If you’re looking to fish dries we recommend a Parachute Adams in sizes 12 and 14 to cover your spring mayflies and an Elk Hair Caddis and a Stimulator, both in olive sized 12-14, for the stoneflies, caddis, and other bigger bugs. Underneath the surface our favorite attractor patterns such as Pheasant Tails, Hare’s Ears, and Prince Nymphs are all working well and stonefly imitations such as Tellico Nymphs or Pat’s Rubber Legs are working as well. The most important thing to know when fishing these nymphs is with our spring water levels either heavy flies or additional weight are necessary to get the flies down to the fish. All but the highest elevation streams should be fishing well, especially in the afternoons after the water has seen some sun.
Gatlinburg- The state has begun stocking approximately 3,000 fish in the Gatlinburg stretch of the West Prong every other Thursday. They stocked last week, 3/23/17, and the regulations are still artificial only and catch and release until this Saturday so there should be an abundance of fish in the river. These fish will eat best with bigger, brighter flies such as Squirmy Wormies, Egg flies, and larger stonefly imitations such as Pat’s Rubber Legs. After Saturday the water is again open to live and scented bait and anglers can keep up to 5 fish a day.