FISHING REPORT for Western North Carolina and East Tennessee:
*So far, the Smallmouth Bass fishing this spring has been the best we’ve seen it in 2 years. The water temperatures have been above average, and there was no significant flooding that interfered with the spawn. The magic water temperature for the top water bite is around 70 degrees. Two rivers in this area reached that mark this week and sure enough, the top water bite was hot. We anticipate the top water action will be great until temperatures flatten out into the upper 80’s and 90’s. Then, mornings and evening will be best. If you are out there on your own, don’t forget to check the water temperatures, it will tell you a lot about what the fish are going to do.
*The tailwaters of East Tennessee are renowned as some of the best in the southeast. This reputation holds true, and especially this spring. Both the Watauga and South Holston River have been fishing great as significant hatches bring fish to the surface. The Dry fly fishing has been excellent this spring, but it doesn’t stop there. The Sulfurs on the South Holston River are just getting started, and the big fish come to the table. The “Soho” is undergoing more maintenance at the dam so we can expect irregular flows. If you go wading, don’t forget to check the generation schedules and flow arrival times, better safe than sorry. On the Watauga River, the Caddis hatches have been thick, with some of the best black Caddis hatches we’ve seen in years. Spinners and tan Caddis are currently working well on Watauga. Both these rivers fish great year round, but as summer sets in and water levels are low elsewhere, they offer some of the best fishing opportunities.
*The Tuckaseegee River (NC) is managed as a Delayed Harvest regulated river. Harvest opens June 6th. If you are interested in having a great numbers day and catching upwards of 40 fish, we recommend hitting it before June 15th. We don’t recommend the “Tuck” between June 15th and October 3rd, as the majority of the 20K pounds of fish will end up in someone’s freezer. We practice Catch and Release and encourage anglers everywhere to fish with a conscience.
*Wade trips on Delayed Harvest streams are winding to a close. While some streams get hit harder than others, many will be fished out by June 15. At that point, the Davidson River is a sure bet for Catch and Release anglers. For the angler who prefers the canopy of rhododendron and the intimate hunt, there are hundreds of miles of Backcountry streams that are home to beautiful, eager wild trout.