Appalachian Angler

A page for fishing reports, guide ramblings, and angler folklore

Monday, April 18, 2011

Appalachian Angler : Fishing Report April 18

Rain Rain Rain
nice looking rainbow

We have been super busy out on our local waters so there has been a lapse in the fishing report and I apologize.  The trips have been a mixed bag of all conditions - high muddy water, low clear water, rain, hail, wind, sun, heat, cold, you name it - we saw it the past 10 days.  Returning home last Sat night proved to be a true adventure with pelting hail and incredible amounts of standing water in the road...  The TVA has been continuing to generate almost 24 hours a day - with the tributaries of all the streams as high as they can get it can benefit for the future to pound all that mud out of the tailwaters.  The floats on the South Holston have been very weather dependent - on sunny days we have seen intense hatches of midges, on low water Sunday (the 10) before the generation we had some UNREAL wade fishing - midge dry fly fishing, excellent swift water nymphing, etc. then the generation came through full of mud and guts and for the most part (one of the few instances) blew us out.  The days that have been 24 hour generation have been good nymph fishing but very few adult flies on the surface for dry fly fishing.  The most consistent thing I have found is around 2-3 pm there have been a lot of blue wings (even in the sunshine) and a scattering of sulfurs - with a lot of the nymphing imitating those sulfur nymphs that are swimming around preparing for the big hatch.  Otherwise the major nymphs have been 20-22 midges, 16-18 sulfur/mayfly nymphs, 14 san juan worm (especially in the rain) in pink and purples (wino).
San juan victim

The Watauga tailwater has been generating as well - we have been floating the upper section during generation, and also have had a chance to fish the trophy section in some very high non-generation levels.  The Doe has consistently been above 500 cfs so the flow in the trophy section has been BIG.  With all of that water pouring through the biggest challenge is just the fish finding the fly - but when they do there is a 90+ percent chance the fish will eat it.  They are very hungry and very willing to eat a well presented fly that is in their general vicinity.  With muddy, murky water we have had some slow fishing - but have been finding the fish in the same spots they always haunt - even in HUGE flows.  It has been gutters and strikes with the weather and the flows, but the angler that has the right day with good clear water flows will benefit!  Some caddis dries on Friday before the generation came, with reports/sightings of them further down river.  This week should be our caddis week, even if it means during generation.  Caddis pupa in the 14-16 size olive or black, bigger mayfly nymphs - soft hackle pheasant tails 14-18, micromayfly 16-20, scattering of midges, and some cranefly larva have all been producing.

Perhaps the greatest benefactor of all this rain and water are the small streams.  All of our local waters have been fishing very well - big water levels but lots of clear and healthy water to be found everywhere.  All of the small stream bugs - Hendricksons, Cahills, Caddis, Blue Wings, Stoneflies, etc. have been seen throughout different times of the day.  Yesterday my wife and I identified over a dozen species of bugs, and also identified countless amounts of wildflowers and songbirds....Even though this is a fishing blog and I would encourage just fishing - the wildlife viewing right now is INCREDIBLE.  Countless species of lilies, iris, and groundcover can be identified on a short hike.  This is usually a sign of poor fishing that a guide points out so much flora and fauna, but I assure you it had more to do with the intensity of the biomass that is growing around us as the season progresses than the fact the stream we were fishing was 4 feet beyond its banks....
large flowered trillium
crested dwarf iris

For trip info or to talk some fishing:  828.963.5050
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