Tennessee Tailwaters – May 16, 2012

Fly Fishing Stream Report

Updated Every Tuesday:    5-15-2012

Water Conditions:

South Holston Release Schedule

Watauga Release Schedule

Hatches: Sulphurs on the Holston and Sulphurs and Caddis on the Watauga. Midges will be moving most of the day but, like the mayfly and caddis, the fish will have a harder time seeing them on the surface because of the higher flows/generation schedule and the water being off colored.

 Fly Suggestions: With TVA releasing more water on both rivers than we are used to seeing as of late, visibility on these rivers will be at a minimum. So matching the hatch might be tougher to do. Fish more attractor patterns i.e. egg patterns, Girdle Bugs, Princes, San Juan’s, and Copper John’s. Larger black Stones are another great bet because of the silhouette the give in dirty water. Typically if I am trying to match the hatch I will fish a size or two larger flies just to help with visibility. Streamers are a GREAT choice of approaches to the higher flows that we will see over the next stretch. Some of my favorites are Double Bunny’s, Articulated Leeches, Sculp-Zilla, Slump Busters, and Belly Dancer’s. Team one of these up with a Rio Freshwater Sink VersileaderAdd some 2x tippet and bang those banks with those baitfish imitations.

General Information: Although conditions are not going to be ideal for dry fly

fishing, if floating one of the tailwaters I would definitely have a dry dropper rod rigged up, but most of my attention would go into chucking and ducking streamers, or finding seams and slow drifting heavy nymphs. A rod that can handle all of these situations is the faster action Scott S4.It cand deliver accurate casts even with those heavy nymphs and streamers, and then turn around and protect the tippet when the dry fly opportunity arises. Some of the key areas to target are the banks, tail outs of pools, all logjams, eddies, behind rocks, and also look for dirt lines. Obvious clear dirty lines offer fish a lot of feeding opportunities.

Projected Conditions: With fewer heavy rains in the forecast, TVA will likely let up on their generation schedules which will allow for more wading access. When the clarity picks up, no matter the flow, the fish will start keying in on the adult bugs and not the ones that are right in their faces.

With the lack of flow we will see the strands of  DIDYMO have been flushed out. As generations decrease expect the bugs and fish to move back to normal feeding situations.