With last week’s heavy rains behind us, the Little Tennessee River sported its pristine shine, and an ideal water level had us drifting along at 700 cubic feet per second (cfs). After one angler got some hearty strikes on their fly rod—using poppers, no less—we switched to spinning gear and fished for smallmouth bass. Wasn’t long before we landed ten of those beauties. A tan Rapala with a blue back proved irresistible. Yellow and green poppers were hot items, too.
This weekend, temperatures will hit the nineties with little chance of rain. If you plan to fish for trout, you’d better start early, and you might try Straight Fork, Deep Creek or Cherokee’s Oconaluftee River (The Luftee) in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP). Bring along your Yellow Sallies, Purple Hazes, Stimulators, and Royal Wulffs. Terrestrials—especially ants, beetles and crickets—would be worth a try as well.
If you’re not an early riser, a float trip for smallmouth bass would be your best bet for good fishing. Despite the afternoon heat, we had wild success on the Little Tennessee. You might try that, too.
Best of luck and stay hydrated!