With the weather cooling off, and thanks to a lot of rain tons of leaves washing out, we're on the fringe of some fine fishing. The brown trout will be hungry post-spawn, and best of all, the tourists are nowhere to be found.
I love winter fishing in Appalachia. It provides an opportunity to fish the lower elevations with little to no competition, and is one of the finest challenges in trout fishing anywhere in America. Of course tailraces are nice, too. Larger, easier trout are to be had in places like the South Holston, Clinch, and Watauga, with little pressure from other anglers -- but let's be honest, sometimes easy just ain't fun.
If you're in the Great Smoky Mountains in the winter, fishing is state of mind. Fish big, fish deep, fish slow. Larger nymphs and streamers will be the way to go. Try olive, black, or red woolybuggers from #10-#6; Prince Nymphs, Legged Tellico Nymphs, and Stone Flies, all from #12-#8. With trout metabolism falling to a near stand still in waters below 40, feeding is opportunistic at best. But still, trout will eat. And it's during low stream pressure times like these that you may just take that trophy trout that eluded you during the heavily trafficked Spring, Summer, or Fall.
Get your cold weather gear ready! Get your mind set on some slow, deep fishing, and enjoy yourself. You'll see unparalleled sights, and you'll see them mostly alone. And that's the plus to sometimes slow fishing.
Keep it rural,