Fishing in the Smokies has picked up big time and although we are having erratic water levels daily, the air and water temps are good which has a plethora of bugs hatching. The main event has been the Yellow Sally Stonefly which has the fish busting anything yellow on the surface. The fish seem to be focused on the sallies pretty much all day but keep some light Cahills in the fly box for a sporadic evening hatch.
It didn’t take Steve long to figure things out.
We have tried to target smaller streams when the water has been high because the bigger streams are tough to wade and lets face it wading around in a small creek brings out the kid in everyone. The Little River in the park should fall out within the next couple of days and fishing will be back to normal as long as we don’t get more rain.
Fishing a shaded bank with a bushy dry.
The Holston and French Broad Rivers have been extremely high for the most part and there have been very few windows open for floating. That should change in the next few days and we will be back to chasing smallmouth. We did get a short window a couple of days ago on the Holston and Mike got to show off his skills with a fly for some smallies. Mike has spent some time fishing for Pike in Canada, but this was the first time going after brown fish. I think this world has one more junkie.
I think he’s hooked
It pays to have a plan b, but lately we’ve needed a plan c and d too. After this weekend the weather should be nice and stay that way for a while. May and June are a great time to be in East TN, especially Townsend. If you are in town and looking to stock up on a few things then stop by Little River Outfitters and talk with those guys, they’ll have all you need. Take care and have a great day.
We have been getting rain off and on for the past couple of weeks and it has kept the rivers high. The Clinch has had 1 generator and has been spilling which makes it hard to fish, but we are seeing Sulfurs hatching and fish rising to them. The Holston has been running very unusual schedules through the middle of the day which has been about useless to fish for trout. We are expecting a few days of nice weather next week and then more rain. The only good thing about it is that all of this water should hold back the caddis hatch and more folks will be able to fish it later on.
We have definitely been seeing more caddis hatching when the water has been down and even getting some good dry fly fishing during the warmer parts of the day.
Sight fishing to the hefty bows with dries is a lot of fun.
Even though the water has been on the high side the Smallmouth are still feeding and starting to get on the beds depending on the water temps. Streamer fishing has been the way to go for the most part and during some of the cooler days getting them down has been a must. Their bellies are full and the fish are energized so you know they’re eating well. If you don’t get any “love” from the fish go deeper or change color. Clousers are a good starting point.
During the warmer days we have been looking for some fish that will come up and eat a popper and finding some here and there. It is a little early for the big topwater bite but just getting a few is enough to wet your whistle.
We have had to reschedule a few trips lately for bad weather and have had to focus more on smallmouth than trout on the tailwaters due to the water levels. Again that should change in a week or so, but it’s been a chance to show folks how awesome a smallmouth is and how fun they are to catch.
It has been an unusual Spring here in East TN but we have gotten used to bad weather and high water, we’re sure not gonna let it get in the way of our fishing. I’m sure the skies will open up soon and we’ll be back to normal. Sorry for the delay on the fishing report, we’ll try to keep them coming regularly.
Fishing on the tailwaters has been good and the fish are fat and have a real attitude problem. The caddis are starting to hatch but they haven’t quite gotten there yet. Nymphs (Caddis Larva, Midge Pupa) have still been the biggest producer throughout the day. We have seen a little dry fly fishing but just enough to get the taste in our mouths. And word has it that there have been some sighting of sulfurs on the Clinch.
A couple of nice fish from the Holston.
The Smokies got dumped on with rain a few days ago and we had to reschedule some trips but were able to fish the smaller streams once the water got to a fishable level. The Quill Gordons or Blue Quills haven’t been hatching like we anticipated but the Brown Stones and March Browns have taken their place. We have even been spotting some Golden Stones and Yellow Sallies around the streams too. Pheasant tails, Prince Nymphs and Adams will do the trick in sizes 16 to 12.
Sticking to the pocket water and high sticking seemed to bring several fish to hand. Also wearing natural clothing and hiding in the shade doesn’t hurt.
The Smallmouth waters are fishing pretty good right now and when I say pretty good I am going off of the fact that the rivers aren’t blown out and muddy. The past few times that we have been out we have pulled in some pretty good numbers and the occasional nice one. We’re thinking the spawn is getting close due to the warmer water temps and the amount of buck bass we are seeing. The weather has been steady in the high 60′s to low 80′s which has been nice and should boost the smallmouth into eating heavily this week.
If the weather keeps up like this we could see some topwater action in the near future. I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself but we want to be ready for anything at this point. This has been one crazy Spring and we’ve pretty much had to throw the plans out the window and have plenty of options to choose from. I love it when the fishing and conditions are out of the ordinary because of the different routes you go to get the bite. Take care and have an awesome day.
When people hear the term March Madness they think of basketball but around here it means bugs hatching, trout rising, pre-spawn smallmouth and the end of cabin fever……..and basketball too. The weather man says it’s going to be good this week with temperatures in the mid to upper 60′s and NO freezing temps. The water is falling out which makes the streams in the Smokies and the bigger rivers fishable. We have been spending some time on the lower Little River searching for bigger smallies for Spring and we have found a few.
These fish will be feeding for a little while on their way to the areas where they will build their nests.
The fishing in the mountain streams have been pretty good if you decide to fish later in the day. There is no need to start early, even the bugs have even decided to start sleeping in. Where you fish will also decide what kind of day you will have. We have been fishing smaller streams lately which don’t seem to have any snow runoff and that has been a huge help.
The size of fish in these streams is smaller than the bigger section of the Little River, but the number have been better and there has been more action.
We got to see and fish some really good hatches of Quill Gordons this past week, but they didn’t last very long maybe 1 to 2 hours at a time. That is better than no bugs hatching if you ask me and especially after that last cold snap we had, we’ll take it.
The Holston River looked good for a couple of days but they are now running some water again. I would say that everything should be back to normal after next week and we will definitely be out there looking to fish dries during the caddis hatch. We hope that you can get out and fish and hopefully get in on some of the Spring hatches. Take care and have an awesome day.
Dry fly fishing in the Smoky Mountains has been pretty good. As of lately the bugs haven’t started coming off until around 1:00pm and the first to come off have been the Blue Quills followed by the Quill Gordons shortly after. The big bug (Quill Gordon) doesn’t come off in numbers like the Blue Quill, but when they start hatching the fish have been keying in on them. The brown stoneflies are always around and giving the fish a steady meal through out the day.
This guy slammed a stonefly
Those who came to town at the beginning of March last year to fish didn’t get to see the first of Spring hatches. Due to an extremely warm February the bugs started early and ended around the start of the season. This year is looking good for the fisherman though and the hatches have been delayed from the cold snaps we keep getting. Looking at the 10 day forecast, the middle of next week is looking good for our area and they are calling for a lot more sunshine and warmer days.
The tailwaters are looking good for the next few days and probably for a while. TVA has cut down on the generation on some of our local rivers. Cherokee Dam (Holston River) has a long window in the afternoons for wade fishing depending on where you go, but not good for floating. Norris Dam (Clinch River) has good schedules for floating during the morning and wading opportunities in the afternoon. Today was the first day that TVA cut back to 1 generator and we braved the bad weather and tried throwing some streamers……. success!
Jayson’s first fish of the day. Congrats bud.
We are also planning for the coming smallmouth season by filling up our streamer and popper boxes. We also got a new knee brace for the raft and plan on using it more this year on some areas where the water is rougher and the raft is needed.
More room, more comfortable = better time on the water
Don’t forget about the overnight smallmouth floats this year. We have provided everything for this trip except for any personal items you might need. Cabin on the water, 2 days of guided fishing and plenty of memories. Call for availability, pricing and for the number of folks wanting to fish. Please book well in advance to give us time to set up camp. Take care and don’t forget to look us up on Facebook for quick updates.
We got quite a bit of rain today in East TN and the mountain streams are flowing pretty perfect right now and they are still rising. The weather has been really nice, but we are about to see a cold front come in. I think it will only turn the fishing off for a day or two at the most. BWO’s are a safe bet to throw in sizes 16 and 18 especially since the water is going to be higher. We had a pretty good day on some tan caddis last week and then there are nymphs that always work.
The tailwaters are the big ticket right now. Because they are released from beneath the dam, the water is warmer than the air temp this time of year. This makes the winter fly fishing great on the Holston and Clinch Rivers. With the ideal flows that TVA gives us, you can expect to get plenty of opportunities for wading and floating on both rivers.
The fish on the Clinch seemed to be keyed in on midges and small pheasanttails more than anything. A good number of fish like these were caught all throughout the day. The water can be super clear and using light tippet may help out with those spooky fish. Also, use a lighter rod to protect the tippet.
Tyler spent a lot of time in this position.
The Holston has had pretty good caddis hatches lately and we are having plenty of dry fly action for the most part of the day. Your average fish might be in the 10 to 12 inch range, but there are plenty of them to go around. Some parts of the river seem to hold better than average fish in the 16 to 18 inch range with a shot at some pushing 20+.
This guy sipped an emerger off the surface.
The Holston is not known for it’s brown trout, but there are a few lying around here and there. You can usually tell because they are selective feeders.
Heading down river Ashley was drifting some nymphs through a run and she got a strike, only when she set the hook it didn’t want to come to the surface. We knew what she had on.
Of course I had to throw a streamer and try to get a smallie before the day was over.
Smallmouth fishing in the winter isn’t as productive as the warmer months, but if you’re willing to work for them and the weather is decent it can happen. With Christmas right around the corner and ideas for getting gifts harder to come by, we have something just for you. How about a gift certificate for a guided day of fly fishing for that special outdoor someone. If this seems like something you would like to do as a gift or stocking stuffer, give us a call and we can make it happen. We hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year and if we could make it a little better, we would love it. Click here to like and follow us on facebook for quick updates.
We are starting to see more and more cold days in the forecast and the water temps in the Smokies are starting to drop into the low 40′s. The browns are finishing up their spawn and the days are getting shorter which means we are having to start earlier in the morning for a full day on the water. Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean the fishing is bad though. Nymphs will catch fish in the mornings and Blue Winged Olives will start to hatch around 11am or so, which means dry flies throughout the rest of the day. Also keep an eye out for bigger fish rising, we have been seeing several on each trip here and there.
Pheasantails and stonefly nymphs in sizes 18 to 12 will get you by until the bugs start hatching. For dries we have been using parachute bwo’s and adams from an 18 to a 14, no surprise there and the occasional october caddis in a 16 or 14. It has been an interesting fall so far and watching the browns spawn is really cool to see. Where these fish hide throughout the year at low water is unbelievable. They aren’t out for very long, but long enough to see them do their thing.
2 pair just feet from each other.
Don’t forget about the tailwaters this time of year either. There are still opportunities there for some good fishing whether you like fishing nymphs or big ugly streamers. TVA has been giving the rivers a break from generation here and there which allows more time to float and wade fish. Keep in mind that the tailwaters stay a fairly consistent temperature throughout the year even in the winter.
As the season winds down and the trips get more spaced out, we get some time on the water to jerk some jaws and play around a bit, try some new flies and scout out more spots. The smallmouth fishing has slowed down a lot and as it gets colder they will get into their wintering holes and wait for spring. This will give us plenty of time to stock back up on streamers and poppers for next season. In the mean time we will be in the park and tailwaters chasing trout, which like the cold water. I hope that the cold weather doesn’t stop you from getting out and getting in some fishing. Take care and hope to see you on the water.
It has been a while since the last report and we are sorry, it’s just that October has been really busy and when I get a day off I usually like to be rippin lips. I am here now and the rain is starting to fall which we need badly. The next few days are going to be really cold and have some pretty nasty weather. Take a jacket or two and an extra set of close to change into in case you fall in, trust me it happens.
The Smokies have been fishing very well with dries and nymphs, but lets face it why throw anything else when they are eating on top. BWO’s are coming off just about everyday and we are seeing a good amount of Slate drakes, Sulphurs and October Caddis throughout the day too. The fish can be spooky with the low water, but that should change with the rain we are getting. Also the browns are spawning and we are seeing their redds everywhere, so be on the lookout for them and watch your step in the back of the runs.
The tailwaters aren’t having very good schedules or even consistent for that matter, but when they do the fish have been pretty active and feeding a good bit. The browns on those rivers are getting aggressive too and are spawning as well. This time of year is great for streamers and getting those aggressive fish to come to us. Fly wise the same ol’ stuff is still fishing good, beadheads and midges are always a good choice. Also while your fishing the Clinch keep your potatoes peeled for a good Black Caddis hatch. We have run into these hatches in the Fall and Winter and they are really good and get the fish all hot and bothered.
The Smallmouth fishing has been fantastic with plenty of fish still coming to the surface and hitting topwater, although with this cold front pushing in we will have to see how they feel in a few days. Keep plenty of baitfish patterns with you just in case, we have had days where we can’t get anything to come to the surface but the fish would maul a streamer right below the surface. The cooler water can get them on a big minnow bite and you want to be ready for that, because it is a lot of FUN. The smallmouth fishing won’t last for very much longer so if you still want to go you better get on it.
Fishing in East TN is good all around and will be like this for a little while. If you have the time to fish but can’t make up your mind there are plenty of options to choose from. We are very blessed to live in an area that is this beautiful and diverse. Sorry for the late report and thanks for reading with us.
6 years old, starting off right.
The mornings are cool enough to wear a jacket and the afternoons are in the 70′s. It is a great time to be fishing, not to mention the VOLS are playing football. Fishing in the park has been good and the tailwaters are getting better flows for floating. The browns are moving around for the spawn and the leaves have a slightly different color to them. We had a great couple of days on the Clinch last week with very little crowds. Scott and Don had a great day and enjoyed the scenery. As we approached the bottom ramp Scott got the surprise of the day when his line got tight.
Also while working with Robyn in the park on some nymphing, we spotted a nice fish sitting on the bottom of a run. A couple of cast later Robyn was holding an 18 inch brown. Her first fish ever on a fly rod. It is definitely that time of year and we love it. Also the smallmouth fishing is still good. A lot of folks forget how good the fishing can be for these guys in the fall as well. I guess they are thinking about the browns and the start of deer season.
We are still catching good numbers of fish and on topwater. It won’t last too much longer, so we are taking advantage of it while we still can. If you are having trouble getting the fish to come to the surface, then put on a smaller streamer and get it down a couple of feet, that should do the trick. The bigger fish will be towards the bottom.
For Chuck’s birthday his girlfriend Heather decided to surprise him with a smallmouth fly fishing trip and though he had not done much fly fishing, he did pretty well for himself and all on poppers.
J.J. and Bob also had good success with poppers, but later in the day found that streamers were the answer. If you have the time to fish then get out and wet a line because it is good everywhere. We live in one of the most beautiful places in the world and it is about to be at it’s peek. Thanks for reading and hope to see you out.
With Tropical Storm Isaac swinging up from the Gulf we thought that the weather would have screwed things up a bit for the fishing. It actually didn’t get as bad we thought and the weather is pretty nice and the tailwaters are cutting back on the generation. The storm did leave the gulf coast torn up and lots of people without power, so continue to pray for those folks. August was a great month for fishing and September is looking to be the same. The topwater bite still continues to be good and finding shaded areas in the afternoons doesn’t hurt. Crawdad patterns are a good choice for subsurface flies if the fish are getting the tight-lipped disease on poppers. Also minnow patterns in the mornings can be a good way to start the day.
During the heat of the day the fish can get a little finicky and that calls for a more stealthy approach. Longer, thinner leaders and fishing flies slower can continue to draw strikes, but fishing the flies too slow will keep you hung up in the rocks. Finding that fine line can be tough but hang in there because it can pay off.
We also got to spend a few days in Pembroke, VA on the New River fishing for Smallmouth and Musky. We camped on the river and floated for 3 days. 10 minutes into the trip Chris yelled ” Musky” across the river. Keep in mind that he was fishing with a medium action rod and 8lb test line in a kayak. The fish finally had enough and we got it in the net.
Congratulations on the monster fish Chris.
We caught a ton of smallmouth in the 8 to 12 inch range with a few between 15 and 19 inches. On top of the great fishing, getting to run some big rapids was a lot of fun too.
We camped right on the river and got to wake up fish breaking on the surface.
Couldn’t have asked for better weather and really good flows. Since I was used to tailwaters and generation, having consistent flows was weird. Also the water temps were warmer than I imagined.
At one point, Will and Chris doubled up, but Will lost his fish while I was getting out the camera. We had a blast and I can see us making this an annual trip. If you are thinking of doing a trip on the New River, then go for it. It is a lot of fun and one of the prettiest places you will ever see. Check out Tangent Outfitters or New River Outdoor Co. Both of these guide services will show you a good time.