Fishing Good? You bet.
Cold? Sort of, but not really.
Two things change more often than not on the Watauga and South Holston Rivers : the weather and the release schedules. The fishing tends to remain the the same through the heart of winter. The fishing is good. Really good for some.
While most are nymphing for the better part of the day on both high and low water, there is some dry fly fishing to be had. Blue Wings have been present almost every afternoon. They can be seen during the warmest parts of the day (Noon-2ish). Cripple patterns and standard Comparadun’s have been a good bet to get those fish to eat. Timing can be everything with them. Approach can be important too.
As for the nymphing? Do it! Lots of BWO nymphs running around with a lot of fish eating them. Patterns have not mattered too much as long as they are on the skinny and small side. A soft hackle as the secondary fly or dropper wouldn’t hurt either. A lot of fish have been eating at the end of the drift just as the fly begins to pick up off the bottom. A slight twitch in the mend has also gotten some fish to eat.
Midges? They always will eat a midge in January. Black flies too.
Streamers? Some still throwing them. That bite should pick up again soon as we get closer to Spring. Try it, you may like it.
The Watauga River will be off. Hooray! The South Holston River seems like it may be all over the place as far as release times. Know before you go… As for the rest of the week? The weekend? A good chance for some wading. Fingers crossed for those who #wadeforit. The boats will stay as a consistent option as well.
Local and Private Water
Water! We have it! Finally…
We have had some snowfall and rain the last few weeks here in the High Country and it could not have come at a better time for our small stream fish. With the mild weather are expecting, the little creeks should be a lot of fun. Expect the go heavier for the most part, but don’t rule out some dry fly stuff in the afternoons! Little Black Stones, a few Blue Wings and maybe even some confused Quill Gordons with the temps approaching 60 by the weekend!
Shameless Sales Plug
Select items around the shop on sale. YETI, Simms and more here at Highlands Outfitters. Guide trips available as well this Winter and Spring. Float, wade or both? You can do it all here with thousands of miles of trout water in all directions. We promise, you won’t leave disappointed. There is a little something for everyone here in Western North Carolina and East Tennessee.
Highlands Outfitters Team