The prime time fishing season has arrived! May is arguably one of the best times of the year for fishing the High Country. May traditionally has the greatest diversity of aquatic insects for the year making dry fly fishing an excellent option.
As far as hatches go let’s start with the March Brown – this large grey colored Mayfly is found
on most of the streams and rivers in our area and the fish are keyed in on them.
A size 12 Parachute Adams is an excellent imitation for the adult stage and a size 12 Pheasant Tail Nymph has a good subsurface pattern.
Though not found in every stream, but worth mentioning, the Green Drake Hatch occurs this month. These Mayflies are between size 8-12 and bring up very large trout.
Other important hatches on the small streams and rivers include small Yellow Sally Stone flies, Giant Black Stones, Yellow Mayflies, and a variety of Caddis. Our local streams have been fishing very well with larger than average wild fish reportedly being caught throughout the area.
The delayed harvest section of the Watauga River was stocked last week and we placed several fish over twenty inches in some accessible holes. Those who enjoy throwing streamers and chasing big trout will be happy to know that the local rivers will be high and colored for the next week or two as we have seen significant rain fall. Adding some extra split shot to your leader may be needed to provide perfect streamer presentation.
There is only more good news when it comes to fishing the tail water rivers of east Tennessee. Our guides have reported excellent fishing on the Watauga with averages exceeding 40 fish per float trip. And if you’re wondering about quality not quantity then we should mention the 18, 19, 20, and 21 inch Brown Trout caught at the and end of last week.
The hatches on the Watauga are the usual suspects. All colors of Midges size 18-26, Crane Flies, Blue Winged Olives size 18-22, and Pale Morning Duns in the 16s.
The South Holston River has not been running enough water to float but the wade fishing has been excellent the past week with the beginning of the Sulpher Hatches. Size 16 Comparaduns are a good go-to dry fly pattern and several Emerger and Dark Nymph patterns are a must in your fly box. If the Sulphers are not coming off, keep an eye out for pods of fish feeding on Blue Wing Olives or Midges as they can also offer some nice fish.