Fall has definitely arrived

With the arrival of fall we’re seeing cool nights with lows in the 40’s and high’s in the 70’s. The water temps are dropping slowly and you can tell a difference in the fish’s attitude. The Smokies have been fishing well with both dries and nymphs and there have been quite a few bugs flying around throughout the day. One of our favorite hatches in the fall are the Isonychia’s or slate drakes which are size 12 dries and have started popping off in the mountains.

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Is there anything better than kids catching fish?

The tailwaters are having decent flows and the fish have been pretty active despite the warmer than average water for this time of year. It’s not fatally hot but fish don’t need to be played very long or handled too much. I recently helped out Mike Bone on a float trip down the Holston and the fish were fairly aggressive and had good weight to them which was great to see them surviving the summers. There were a few caddis and cahills hatching but midges were in far greater numbers. The fishing on the Holston should be great this fall and winter.

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2 fish in 4 casts with another one breaking off. Bill had it going on.

As for the smallmouth enthusiast the fall bite can be great here in East TN with the smallmouth bulking up before the cold weather sets in. The fish have been very aggressive to say the least and have been taking both topwater and streamers. With some of our tailwaters being smallmouth rivers the water takes longer to cool down, making for a longer than normal season. This changes from year to year but you can usually bank on the bite going strong pretty much through October and sometimes the even the first of November. Every weather channel I have seen says we’re in for a cold winter so we’ll just have to see, but we’ll be out there no matter what.

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Some thick slabs putting an 8 wt to the test.

Seeing someone hook up with a fish is always fun but “doubles” are something you don’t forget especially when both fish are around 18 inches, that’s when things get hairy.

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A thing of beauty.

The fall might just be the best time of year with the leaves changing and the cool air coming in, but it gives us one last good run before the nasty weather hits us leaving only memories until spring. If you want to get out on the water GIVE US A CALL, we’ll be out there anyways so you might as well be with us. Take care and have a blessed day.

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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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