It was a beautiful weekend with an abundance of sunshine and warm weather. Streams in the Smokies were running a little high and the water was still down in the low 40’s so fishing was predictably on the slow side, but it was one of those days we always enjoy.
Last week it was snowing, the river was flirting with flood stage and only a few degrees above freezing. In spite of the sunny skies and warm weather we knew better than to expect spectacular fishing to materialize virtually overnight. The reason I really enjoy days like this is because you really see things coming together.
Brown stoneflies were hatching along the banks while some Blue Quills hatching in the main runs of water and even a few large Quill Gordons flew by us where we watched from the bank. We only saw one fish rise, a smallish brown trout that leapt about 6″ out of the water at a clumsily fluttering Quill Gordon mayfly and missed by a mile. It’s always fun to watch the fish miss the fly when you spend so much of the year missing them when they eat.
The more you see days like this in early spring and every other season, the more you realize good fishing and bad fishing don’t just happen. There’s an undeniable ebb and flow to all of it. Most people no longer have the chance to see this happen on a daily basis. Even as our lifestyle keeps us firmly locked out of higher tax brackets we never regret the life choices we’ve made to be able to witness the small details in the world that are so meaningful to us.
We considered spending the day up Lynn Camp Prong for the opener after the stream has been closed for seven years, but we decided to pass. After weeks of awful weather we knew that the gorgeous weekend would get everyone out, and this coincided with the biggest thing to happen in Smoky Mountain fly fishing is some time. I’m never opposed to walking further than anyone else, but when the conditions are marginal and I’ve got two kids eager to catch a trout I’d rather take an easier option.
We did raise a few fish to bushy dry flies and surely could’ve done pretty well with nymphs, but it was just one of those days when we couldn’t bear to fish a nymph for very long. Besides, it was just so nice to sit in the sun with the stream lapping out our ankles while we identified what bugs were floating down the stream or flying past.
This week looks like the mountain streams will be the main place to fish as the tailwaters are running a ton of water. All that melting snow and rain has TVA scrambling to keep the reservoirs from getting too high too fast. Norris Lake almost made it to summer pool in just a few days and we’ve only just entered the wet season in East Tennessee so TVA is trying to maintain some buffer to prevent flooding.
The rain in this week’s forecast could make for some high water everywhere, but it will certainly get water temperatures much warmer than they’ve been and jump start all the hatches.
See the compete original article at : http://randrflyfishing.com/2015/03/09/spring-fly-fishing-has-arrived/