A big change in conditions

The fishing has definitely gotten better around East TN now that the tailwater flows are down and the sun shine is out on a regular basis. The water in the Smokies and lower freestone rivers has been high for the last couple of days but even that is already looking better. We’ve been in the park the past couple of days fishing with folks and even with the water on the  high side the fishing was still pretty good. The fishing should be a lot better all of this week.

The Holston and the Clinch are fishing pretty good on lower flows, but we aren’t seeing very many caddis on the water. Jeff and Kim Ledbetter own Bow Hunters Pro Shop here in Maryville TN and when they aren’t slinging arrows they love to trout fish. They have always spin fished for trout and haven’t really seen what a fly could do. I think they are believers in what those “little bugs” can do for fish. It is awesome to see folks learning the sport and coming back to do it again and again.

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Kim with her first fish on a fly rod. Congratulations.

The tailwaters are still a little on the cold side for the smallmouth on the other hand. Just to give you an idea of the water temps, I wore my chaco’s instead of waders and after about 10 seconds in the water my feet were hurting. With the water being cold it’s not hard to catch smallmouth, but it’s probably not a bad idea to bring along the spinning rod, just incase (if that’s your thing). We fished the Holston the other day to see what we could find  some nice smallmouth hanging around and we did,  but they were pretty sluggish and on the bottom.

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This guy was right at 19 inches, but a little on the skinny side.

Pushing down river we noticed some carp digging around on the bottom for something and with a craw pattern already on the rod I decided to give it a shot.

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This guy weighed in at 18 lbs. on the boga’s

Mick said as we launched the boat that we had the “Luck of the Irish” on our side and boy was he right. I would say that this warm week ahead of us is probably going to get these fish moving around a lot and we will definitely be out there trying to see what they want to eat. There is nothing to complain about anymore in our area. The wether is right, the water is right, it’s a great time to be here. We hope to see some of you out on the water and Hope you have an awesome day. Take care.

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