So, December is here, and I had the A/C on in the shop yesterday afternoon. Today (Tuesday) a front is bringing some rain showers but its also bringing cold air. For the first time this fall we have a chance for snow showers in the lower elevations. Ridge-tops above 3000 feet have already seen a dusting back in October. This weekend the forecasts are predicting some level of winter precipitation. However, we all know, that forecast will change 50 times in the next four days. Below are some reasons to make a special fishing trip this weekend.
5. Roads are Warm
IF we were to get winter precipitation the ground temps are very warm. It would take a major winter storm (Not Predicted) to make the roads dangerous or impassable. NCDOT does a nice job at pre-treating major roads and highways to ensure safe travel. Both DH sections of the Tuck are on roads such as these.
4. Bryson City and Sylva at Christmas
These towns spend a lot of coin on decorating for Christmas. Add a little snow as a back drop, and you are taken into the set of a Hallmark Christmas Movie. Fish by day, then take in the taste of these towns with fantastic restaurants and breweries where other fishy folks tend to congregate in the evenings.
Photo: Jackson County Chamber 3. No Fishing Pressure
After the leaves have fallen and flushed downstream the fishing crowds tend to dissolve. Its right about that time in November when the fishing is just getting to the best (see previous report). For some reason when the fishing is the worst we have the largest crowds (summer) when it is the best (Now) many anglers are settling in on the vise to prepare for spring. We have had some of our best days on the water in December, January, and February.
2. Fishing in Snow is Optimum
For snow to actually happen it must be a strong low pressure system. With low pressure trout are happy and eager to eat. For the last three weeks we have seen mornings in the 30s and afternoon temps hitting 65, keeping the water temps perfect for hungry trout. For the water temps to drop substantially on a tail race, we will need weeks of prolonged cold weather, not two days. The last time I was lucky enough to fish in the snow was Thanksgiving three years ago and it was an incredible day on the water.
1. Calendar Worthy Settings
Some of the most liked photos I have seen on social media are snow-scapes on the mountains, especially those involving rivers and streams. The Smoky Mountains in the snow make for some brilliant shots. Breathtaking to be exact. Now throw trout fishing into the mix, and you will find yourself in a real estate office.
This weekend is going to be a low risk chance to come up, fish and enjoy it in the snow. The roads should be fine. This is a great excuse to put to test all the Patagonia, Simms, or whatever outerwear you have to the test! Simms' motto the last couple seasons has been "Forget the Forecast". I agree!
See you on the water!