We’ve been doing a lot of stuff lately to prepare for the upcoming season. We spent the past couple of weeks getting ready for the Kentucky Fly Fishing Show that went on this past weekend, which was awesome despite the weather. On the way up we ran into some pretty bad weather with around 4 inches of snow on the highway, not the mention the huge patches of ice. We had to put the Pathfinder in 4wd and drive 35 mph which took us way off schedule but we got to the show with plenty of time to set up. It was a great show and we appreciate everyone stopping by the booth to talk and hang out.
After talking about fishing all day Saturday, we were itching to get back on the water as soon as possible. Jules and I had the chance to get out today and wet a line, which we haven’t been able to do in a while. The only realistic option was the Holston River below Cherokee Dam unless you wanted to break through the ice in the Smoky Mountains. With the cold fronts that were pushing in we didn’t anticipate the fishing to be great, but thought there might the the occasional riser here and there. Even though it was cold and the wind blew pretty hard all day it turned out to be a pretty awesome day on the river.
Small flies can be frustrating and rewarding at the same time.
When we got to the river there were plenty of risers around 12 inches taking midges in the riffles, but several larger fish sipping in the softer water. There was a pretty significant midge hatch around lunch time and lasted for several hours, keeping the fish actively feeding near the surface. The fish were fixed on a size 20 midge pupa (olive or black) fished on top or right below the surface. There were so many bugs on the water that it sometimes took repetitive casts to get the fish to take mine, which wasn’t easy in the 15+ mph wind gusts but totally worth it. As long as the fish were rising we didn’t mind the bitter weather, but around 3:00pm the hatch was over and the cold front had set in for good. It was good to be able to get back on the water and all we can think about is Spring time and the hatch that comes along with it.
Before you know it quill gordons and blue quills will be hatching in the Smokies and the annual caddis hatch on the Holston will have the river boiling on top. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for less rain and good flows this year and suggest everyone to do the same. We will also be at the Cincinnati Fly Fishing Show this coming weekend and would enjoy the company at our booth if you are going to be in the area. Take care and have a great day.