Keeping the boat wet

Well so much for our mild summer as it’s been in the 90′s and humid as all get out which is pretty dang normal for August/September in East TN. I guess we had a good run for a while and we can’t complain about that. The weather channel predicts that the 5 day forecast looks good with most days in the mid 80′s but again a 5 day forecast is about useless around here. The occasional afternoon shower can still pop up but only to cool things off a bit and keep the water levels consistent.

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Bryan enjoying the best seat in the house right before getting dumped on.

I got to fish with Bryan and Manny last year for the first time and they both work hard at their jobs with very little time to fish. They decided they were ready for round 2 so we hit the water. The fish were a little finicky at first but after a couple of tweaks with flies and techniques the rods stayed bent. Sometimes the fish aren’t always following the manual and you gotta switch things up a bit.

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These guys are as easy going as can be and will pound the banks until the take out, rain or shine.

For those wondering how the heat affects the fishing, don’t worry it won’t be affected very much at all. If you want to get some topwater action though than you better be on the water early when the fish are more active. The smallies have been giving the baitfish a run for their money making subsurface flies a better choice especially in the afternoon when they aren’t looking up.

Steve and his buddy Jimbo had never targeted smallmouth on the fly and wanted to try their hand at it. We caught several fish on topwater in the morning but it was mostly streamers for the majority of the day which Steve and Jimbo didn’t seem to mind throwing. When I get asked what I like to fish with the most I reply, whatever catches fish. I love a good topwater bite but the fish are the boss and we’re on their schedule.

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Steve and Jimbo didn’t care what they caught em on.

We’ve still got a good chunk of the season ahead of us and Lord willing we’ll have good flows for a while. Although looking at todays schedule was a let down since everything was blown out and can be for a little while, but there’s almost always somewhere to fish. CONTACT us if you would like to get out and fish or else we’ll have to go ourselves, spending less time with our wives and more time in the dog house. Also check out our FACEBOOK page for quick updates about fishing conditions. Take care and have a blessed day.

 

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Deep in the dog days

As we hit the warmest part of the summer and most of the kids are back in school and family vacations are wrapped up until fall, we start to see fewer river traffic and fishermen on the water. Most folks don’t want to fish when the humidity is at 100% and air temps aren’t far behind but that hasn’t been the case for this year at all. It’s been a mild summer and the conditions have been just about perfect. The humidity can still be high some days but it’s August, it’s supposed to be humid.

We’ve had just about perfect generation schedules on the tailwaters and the mountain streams have had as good of flows as they’ve seen since the spring due to the regular afternoon showers. Some might be wondering if the topwater bite for smallmouth is over for the summer. Well, the topwater bite has still been good during the low light parts of the day (morning/evening) but fishing streamers has been more effective during the heat of the day. I know that fishing streamers isn’t everyone’s favorite way to fish but it can be deadly with big results if you’re willing to do it.

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After 2 days Matt and Landon had this fly fishing thing figured out.

With the rivers maintaining a consistent flow, fish will stay on a routine schedule and stage in their regular spots for late summer. Low water is great when having to fish streamers because the flies aren’t as heavy and we can swap the sinking lines for floating which are much easier to cast. One of the most exciting things about streamer fishing in clear water is getting to see the strikes and watching everything happen. Longer casts are necessary at times due to the water clarity that comes along with the heat of the summer, but not to worry, we set up our gear with easy casting/fishing in mind.

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The Riggleman’s tearing it up on their father/son trip.

With beautiful weather, great flows and awesome fishing what more could we ask the good Lord for. I think most fishermen consider August to be a dead month because of warm, dry conditions but here in East TN our tailwaters stay cool and those regular afternoon showers keep the fish active and angry. Before you know it we’ll see cool weather with changing leaves and wish we could get back on that summer smallmouth bite. Let us know if you’d like to get in on the action before it’s gone by contacting us HERE.

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The Stancil’s from Maryland scored a couple of honeymoon brutes.

I know I’ve been bad about keeping recent posts up as much as I should but I plan to keep them coming so stay posted to our website or our Facebook page for quick posts. Take care and be safe on the water.

 

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A way to beat the heat.

It has been a crazy summer so far (in a good way) with lots of fishing and hardly any time to keep the fly boxes stocked up. I know I have been slacking on the fishing reports but tying flies and getting lunches ready for the next day takes up all of the time left in the evenings leaving no time for updates. We’ve been on the water every day.

As we dive into summer and the days get longer and hotter the thought of fishing through the middle of the day isn’t  a fond idea with most fishermen. In our area we have several options to choose from to escape the heat of the day. Most tend to go high on the mountain and look for splashy rises from brook trout in the cool mountain streams as others fish early in the day and/or late in the evening on the tailwaters.

This is our favorite time of year when the sun is high, the water is warm and the smallmouth are active. The topwater bite has been incredible for the last month and we’re expecting this trend to continue through July and into August. Like trout, smallmouth love terrestrials and there’s plenty of beetles, ants, dragon flies and damsel flies on the water to keep the fish happy and focused near the surface which makes fishing poppers so effective.

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Andy and Steve’s first time catching smallmouth and loving every minute of it.

After the big one shook Andy’s fly and got away he felt short changed but didn’t let it get him down. His focus paid off later in the day when the bottom fell out from the popper and a stiff hook set shifted everyones attention towards the front of the boat.

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A great fish and on a popper to boot, way to go Andy.

With the lack of rain we’ve had over the past few months the water levels on most rivers are low and as clear as ever.   The upside to the low/clear water is that it’s made site fishing top notch which is very exciting as long as the fish doesn’t spook before the fly hits the water. Spooky fish combined with these conditions can be tough especially with a stiff wind blowing but changing tactics and getting out of your comfort zone can make all the difference in the world.

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Byron from Little River Outfitters works hard and doesn’t get to fish much, but when he does he lays it all on the line.

I got to fish with Richard and Jon Anna from Arkansas for 3 days where we targeted trout for a day and smallmouth for two. Our first day we had good topwater action for smallmouth which is always a good way to start the trip. On day 2 we started with high water and ended with low water and spooky fish, but after switching to micro flies and longer casts we got after them and Jon Anna got lunker for the day with a healthy rainbow. Day 3 brought it all together when Richard spotted a nice smallmouth and sight casted to it followed by a swift hook set and a long drawn out fight.

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Two great folks holding some well deserved fish.

Although the heat of the summer can be hard to get through for some, there are several alternatives to choose from to keep you on the water. If you would like to get out on the water and enjoy the warm weather give us a call. The bite was good in June and is the same for July and should be for August. Be sure to be safe on the water and drink plenty of water and Gatorade and wear protective clothing and/or plenty of sun screen. Take care and have a great day.

 

 

 

 

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