It hasn’t been a typical summer in TN by any means. The weather has been strange to say the least and the water has stayed pretty cool. We haven’t really seen that many days in the 90’s this year and by normal standards in late August we should be pushing the 100 mark, but don’t get me wrong we’ve enjoyed it quite a bit. One thing that hasn’t changed at least has been the fishing. In August/September the fishing isn’t bad at all, in fact the crowds are gone for the most part due to the heat and kids going back to school and we still see fairly active fish. This has a lot to do with our rivers being tailwaters which keep the water cool with regular generation during the night.
The topwater bite has been consistent for the past 2 months and it seems to get better everyday. Some fish will sneak up from behind and “sip” the fly as others explode on it. Some parts of the river just aren’t good for topwater and streamers/crawdads make up the difference but for the most part topwater has caught the majority of fish.
We just finished up an overnighter with Gary Newton from Cleveland, OH for his 67th birthday. He mostly fishes for trout and steelhead but is no slouch with a popping bug either. The fishing was great both days and Gary got his hands on several nice fish. With the water being so clear we got to sight fish on occasion to loaners in the shallows. To end the trip we spotted a youngster hanging around the bank. Nice job Gary and look forward to the next time.
I also got the chance to get out with my buddies on the water which doesn’t happen that often due to the odd scheduling of our jobs. The fish were very active and aggressive towards just about everything we threw at them. The water was a little high but the fish didn’t seem to mind at all. We lost some nicer fish at the boat but that’s part of it sometimes. Bigger smallmouth have hard mouths and sometimes you just don’t get a hook in the right spot, but that’s what keeps you coming back.
At one point I pulled the fly out of a fish’s mouth and tossed it in the water (by hand). When I picked up the rod another fish had taken it and we landed him too. Fun times on the river.
You can tell when Fall is near when the deer and turkey are on the move and fish start feeding heavily on shad and other baitfish and that’s what we noticed yesterday. Several fish had puked up filets of other fish and minnows were scattering around the banks. Don’t let that worry you though there’s still plenty of good fishing ahead. If you’re thinking of coming to the Smokies or the Knoxville area and looking to get on the water, we would love to show you a day on the river, CONTACT US. Take care and have a blessed day.