We have had a really busy July and we (our guests) have caught a ton of fish! July is a very busy time in the High Country. Vacations are in full swing and many people come up to the mountains to escape the heat. July is always one of our busiest months because of this, but it can be up and down for fishing. Trout need cold water and July can bring the heat. We have had some hot, tough days on the water in mid July, but late July brought cooler temps and the fish were fired up. If we can keep these cooler temps and get regular rain, the fishing should continue to be decent.
On the tailwaters, the Watauga has been doing their normal summer flows and generating in the afternoon. The South Holston had low flows most of the month with increased flows later in the month due to rain. Both of the rivers have been fishing well. We are seeing large browns coming up in both rivers and they are starting to hang in some of their 'normal' pre spawn holding spots. Locally, if the streams were below 65 degrees, they were fishing well.
August can be similar fishing conditions, but with a lot less fishing pressure. Locally, check water temps regularly if it is 'hot' outside and fish early in the morning. You don't want to trout fish if the water temp is above 65. It will put so much stress on the fish, they will most likely die. Their metabolism also slows down significantly in warmer water and trout do not eat when they are stressed. This makes the fishing tough. Just pay attention and be responsible. Time will tell what the weather is like for the month, but the first week looks mid, which should be good for fishing.
The tailwaters should fish well and the decreased pressure of boats should help a lot. Rain in the forecast over the next week will keep the water flows up a bit and cold water moving. The browns will continue their migration and will soon start to get into 'pre spawn' mode. Late Summer and early Fall can be an exciting time to fish! The only way to know if they are biting is to get out there and do it!
Some pics of of good times had in July!