On the Holston, there has been a consistent sulphur hatch at high water around 3 pm and lasting a couple of hours. Size 16-18 sulphur comparadun patterns are working well.Blue wing olives are coming off in size 18-20.
As usual the tiny flies are present – black flies and midges – as well as scuds. On the Watauga, craneflys are coming off in size 18 or 20, and some blue wing olives are starting to fly around. They have more of a grey color rather than the olive green. Sporadic caddis activity along with the random big sulphur (sz. 14). Midges and small nymph rigs will always bring some fish to hand.
Fall has finally arrived in the high country, bringing with it cooler weather and fish. Delayed harvest streams will be getting stocked again soon, so fishing on the Watauga will improve greatly. As far as bugs go we are still seeing some sulphurs around, but they are tapering off. Start looking for blue wing olives and craneflys on the surface this time of year.
Nymphs like pheasant tails, princes, hares ears, and stonefly patterns in size 12-18 will produce fish. 2 fly rigs can increase your chances. Lead with a larger pattern (12 or 14 prince) and drop a smaller (16 or 18 midge, micro mayfly) behind it.