Mixed signals on fly fishing opportunities

George Thwaites • May 3, 2013 at 11:22 AM

There have been mixed signals on this week’s fly fishing outlook.

Rob Glover at Mahoney’s Sportsmans’ Paradise in Johnson City noted that the TVA has been generating 24-7 on the upstream dams and spilling extra water through the open gates. After three days of this, he hasn’t talked to anybody who has been fishing on the Watauga tailwater.

Ben Walters at Eastern Fly Outfitters in Johnson City, meanwhile, just had a guide pal drop by Wednesday with an upbeat report of nice trout being caught on the South Holston tailwater on streamers, nymphs and even dries. Of course, you have to be in a boat. Nobody in his right mind would be wading it.

Lately, the mountain trout streams are the best opportunity for that. They’re quite full, but not too muddy, Walters said. Think bead-head nymphs and maybe a little split shot to get the fly down to the fish.

Local angling author Keith Bartlett reports the water in Boone Lake has been coffee-and-cream colored. Both Boone Dam and Ft. Patrick Henry Dam have been spewing the water, two generators going and four gates open.

He believes he has reason for some optimisim.

“I’ve been watching the river like a hawk. The water has been clearing up some and they’ve been moderating the generating schedule a little,” Bartlett said. “If it keeps clearing up, pick the next pretty day and take a little vacation to go fishing.”

For the complete Fishing Report, see the Feb. 8 edition of the Kingsport Times-News.

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