Wow! winter is officially here. We are in full swing at the shop (Orvis Sevierville) for fourth quarter madness. There has been little time to fish, but I thought I would quickly post some easy non-tailwater fisheries that are viable winter options withing a quick drive from the shop. So here we go.
First let’s start with directions: Directions to Paint Creek
Paint Creek is a fun little stream to fish in the winter. It is located in the northern portion of Cherokee National forest and is stocked on a regular basis. In Spring/Summer/Fall there are quite a few campers and fisherman on the stream. However in the winter it is left to mainly locals and guys that are serious about fishing. I really like to hit it when it is really cold and we have a little snow on the ground as the stream is absolutely gorgeous during these times.
Another great thing about Paint Creek in the winter is that it is all Catch and Release fishing and is managed as a Delayed harvest area! So there are goods numbers of trout to chase. It is also a great place to take a beginner. Link to TWRA Regulations.
Here is a link to an old post: Paint Creek Post
Another overlooked area to fish this time of year is the Gatlinburg stocked fishing areas. This is also managed as a delayed harvest area in the winter and is greatly overlooked. You will have to fish in the midst of traffic and people, but after the first of the year all of this is gone for the most part and you can have some really fun fishing. TWRA regulations.
Some of my favorite flies for this time of year include Pheasant Tails and Prince Nymphs, the all popular Glo Bugs and San Juan worms, plus some Woolly Buggers. If the water is really cold I like to fish with indicators, but when the water is warmer they will also hit flies on the swing as well as an occasional dry fly. (PS, we did pick up the beer box in the photo and no it wasn’t ours, whiskey is much more effective when it’s cold!)
Hopefully, everyone is finding some time to get out this holiday season and remember it is also a great time to take family out on the stream and introduce new blood to our sport.
Tightlines and Happy Holidays!