I have fished with Bob and Gail Dosser a couple of times and they are great folks. This time, Bob and Gail came up from Louisiana to get there hands on some smallies. The start of the float was pretty good and we had a lot of strikes, Gail even caught her first bass on a fly rod, heck on topwater, but soon after we started, the rain slammed us and the trip was ended. We did get to see a small fawn on an island on the way down, though. I look forward to taking them again for some of these hard hitters.
On the other hand, I took Jamie, Joe and Tom who are smallie fishermen from Kentucky into the park for some trout and they did pretty good. They grew up in an area similar to the National Park so they were right at home. Tom fishes a river in Kentucky that has class 4 whitewater during certain parts of the year and he floats it in a one man pontoon rig, so rock hopping in the Smokys was nothing.
Fishing the Smokys has been great with the fish really eating dries, especially terrestrials. When fishing bugs like beetles, ants, hoppers, crickets, and inchworms, stay focused on the fly because the fish tend to “sip” the fly more than blast it. With the air temps getting warmer, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to find higher elevation streams and fish in the morning and evenings.
Tyler and I made plans to have a small mancation for 2 days of solid fishing and camping. We planned on floating for smallies 1 day, then driving up to the South Holston and night fishing, then floating the South Holston the next day on the 240 cfs. Our plans changed quickly when TVA decided to run every tailwater full blast all day long for 4 days straight and not run the South Holston at all. In this business, you learn to make lemonade out of lemons, so we traded the drifter for the raft and decided to float the Little for smallies, then hike up Little River trail the next day for some dry fly action.
This is why I love smallies, because they are gluttons.
We have spent a lot of the last week fishing for smallmouth, especially on the Little River and Holston. Both are fishing really good throughout the day with streamers and poppers, but don’t forget about our friends with claws because we have caught several fish with claws in their throats. Whatever you are into we have it and it is top notch right now. So if you are thinking about a trip, give us a call or shoot us an email. Have a blessed day and see you on the river.