Dog days are here

August has been fairly cool for the most part and the weather has been nice but then again we’re just at the start of it. We’ve had some rain here and there which has been good for the rivers in the Smoky Mountain National Park and other freestone rivers in the area. Most of the tailwaters like the Holston, Clinch and French Broad rivers aren’t affected much by rain except for the color and maybe a little extra water. There are several big feeder streams on each river that can add some stain to the water and a little bit can be good. That has been the case as of lately with the occasional afternoon shower, but the off color can only help.

As for the fishing side of things the smallmouth bite is still going on strong and depending on the weather and generation schedule we’re still seeing good action with topwater. The subsurface action will always yield more fish but when there’s a chance to catch some on top not many want to pass it up. Some days the fish can get picky and we’ve had to change flies and techniques but for the most part the fish are in the usual late summer groove, it is August after all.

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Love that summer time bronze.

Smallmouth fishing in the summer time is great but not the only thing around. We have several great trout fisheries that fish well through the warmer months. There’s still some bug activity (caddis, sulphurs, etc.) lagging behind which still has the fish looking up. During the heat of the day the fish are a little skittish and nymphs will be a better choice. The hard part is getting a decent generation schedule with low water but you take what you can get and make the best of it.

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Dry flies are hard to beat.

August is a great time to be in East TN and there are plenty of options for every angler to choose from. One great thing about this time of year with school back in session and warm weather is the lack of crowds on the rivers. If you are coming to the area or looking for something out of the ordinary then give us a call and we can arrange a trip for you to see what our area has to offer. Make sure to stop by Little River Outfitters for all of your fly fishing needs and check out their excellent warm water selection. Take care and have a great day.


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Wet or dry

July has been pretty typical lately for East TN with a mixed bag of weather ranging from mid 90’s and sunny to torrential downpours. That’s normal though for this area and we’re just used to it I guess; you have to be or else you’d be waiting for a long time for perfect conditions. Sometimes these sudden changes in weather can affect the fishing but usually not for long, then they’re back on the prowl.

The topwater bite has been strong some days but not every day, which has us fishing subsurface flies part of the time. I, as well as most people, love a good topwater bite but more importantly like catching fish. After getting the hang of fishing subsurface flies most folks seem to enjoy it, it can also produce some nice fish. Don’t get me wrong though I’m always looking for fish to take flies off the top.

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Butch found that one he was looking for and Ricky wasn’t far behind.

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Dan with a doozy.                                                 Doug’s first day fly fishing,

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Mark’s hooked on brown fish                           Joel loves his topwater

We’re closing out July with some nice weather and looking forward to August which can be a great time to be out fishing. Hopefully the flows will be a little more stable along with some cooperating weather. Either way we’ll be out there looking to catch some fish and having a good time. If your in the Smoky Mountain area or the Knoxville area and would like to get out on the water, give us a call and we’ll arrange a trip for you. Take care and have a great day.

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The weather turns a complete 180

So we made it through June, which had record breaking heat waves and no rain. July shows up to the party with buckets of rain which was welcomed and needed. The good thing is that the ground is so dry and the rivers have been so low that the water is going so many places that the levels haven’t really come up that much at all. We’ve had to cancel some trips due to muddy water, but outside of that everything has been fine and the fishing has been great.

As of late the topwater bite has really picked up and we are seeing some steady action on the surface. When the occasional day comes around and the fish aren’t focusing upwards the subsurface action has been awesome as well. What’s unique about our area and waters is that they are so clear that most of the time the strikes are visual and you can see everything happening. This also means that longer casts can be a factor which isn’t usually a problem with the way we have our rods set up.


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The Ninja does it again. Nicely done Glenn.

You just can’t beat a good topwater bite, when the fish are where they should be and hitting flies with gusto, it just feels right for summer. You don’t always have that aggressive take but when you do there’s nothing else like it and those who haven’t seen it need to experience it first hand. The explosive blow ups are definitely a treat but smallmouth are a lot like trout and mostly “sip” food of the surface which happens to be my favorite because everything seems to go in slow motion.

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Dick right at home with his favorite fish.

Topwater fishing is what most people think about with smallmouth but it’s by no means the only way. Heck, most of what they eat is below the surface so you’re only targeting a small percentage of fish by fishing topwater. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a great day with poppers but we do what we can to catch fish. Some people don’t enjoy fishing subsurface flies, but it can be a blast when done right and can produce some nice fish and numbers with the right conditions. There’s a good feeling when you feel that “thump” at the end of the line followed by weight before you lift the rod.

Having the right rod matched with a good line can make all the difference in the world. Stop by Little River Outfitters in Townsend, TN and talk with the guys there, they can set you up with gear that can fit your style and wallet. If you would like to get out on the water and go after your favorite fish or try something new then give us a call or check us out on Facebook, we’d be glad to have you. We’re very blessed to have so many great places right around the Smoky Mountains and surrounding Knoxville areas. Take care and have a great day.

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