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The story of May so far has been warmer temperatures, happy fish, and plenty of bugs hatching. This doesn't seem to be changing anytime soon either! Warmer temps also mean wet wading is here for folks who don't mind being a little bit cold and a week or two away for the rest of us. A lack of rain has flows a bit lower than normal so any precipitation will be welcomed. We have seen plentiful hatches on both our typical rivers and our small streams as well. Our most prolific hatches have been March Browns, Cahills, Caddis, Yellow Sallys, and a few Hendricksons as well. Leeches and sculpin imitations seem to be producing the larger fish while fishing a dry dropper seems to be getting the numbers.
The Davidson is continuing to be a dream for folks wanting to fish dry flies. We have seen multiple hatches happening simultaneously during the midday hours. Folks should find a good pool or run and post-up until you see some insects starting to come off. In addition to fishing the upper reaches, the bottom few miles are under hatchery-supported regulations and will continue to be stocked throughout the summer. The hatchery area still produces some of the best shots at fish however, the escapees are beginning to act more and more like picky tailwater fish than their more eager earlier selves. Be sure to match the hatch, fish a long leader with a light tippet, and try to find some solitude for the best results. Evenings from about an hour before sunset until you can't see anymore have been the witness to aggressive dry fly eats during spinner falls.
Delayed Harvest is about to be back in business with many of our favorite streams getting restocked the first week of May. It is important to remember that many folks love fishing these streams this time of the year and with that comes an increased impact. Please be a good steward and give other anglers space, practice Leave No Trace and remember there are plenty of fish for everyone. Your best bet here would be to try the “fast food” flies in your box like eggs, worms, and leeches before moving to more natural offerings like girdle bugs, sheepflies and beadhead nymphs.
Wild Trout fishing is nearly in perfect springtime conditions. Fish many of the same insects you would on the Davidson in a slightly larger size and in a dry-dropper format for best success. Again, as the use increases on many of our wild trout streams as we get into the full swing of things, being a good steward of the resource ensures that your favorite stream still fishes well next season. We have seen increased pressure on many of our small streams that have easy access and we can only anticipate more pressure as we move into summer. Please keep fish wet, fish barbless flies, and respect the little streams that make our area such a special place to be.
Sheepfly 8-12, Hot Bead Squirrel Leech 10, Lil Yellow Stone 14 & 16, Yellow and Tan Foam Caddis 14 & 16, Jig Duracell UV Tan 16, Jigged Baby Sally 14 & 16, Hare's Ear Jig 16, Chubby Chernobyl 12-16, Sparkle Minnow 6-10, Mop Fly 14, Tung Jig Naughty Bunny 14 & 16
DAVIDSON RIVER & AREA RIVERS
SMALL STREAMS & WILD TROUT
Lil Yellow Stone
A must have pattern for the Yellow Sallies that are so prevalent in the Smoky Mountains in May, June and early July.