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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Streams and rivers in East TN continue to stay on the low side despite the steady rain we had last night. This wouldn’t affect the tailwaters much since the lakes are down so far but it would help the freestone streams in the area which need it bad. There are only a couple of rivers that aren’t having problems with low water in the area and they’re running full blast.
We’ve spent the majority of our time chasing smallmouth and now that the spawn is completely over the fish have become hungry and aggressive. Despite the lack of water and the warmer weather the fishing has been pretty good. Smallies are taking topwater but the bite has been better in the mornings before the sun gets high, but once it’s overhead it’s been streamers all the way. David Cummings came into town last week to try his hand at smallies and he started and ended with a bang.
David wanted to learn to fish streamers……well I think he got it.
The Holston, French Broad and Little River are our primary smallmouth rivers to fish this time of year. The French Broad is running high and the Little River is too low which has us running to the Holston which has also been low but not low enough to keep us from having a good time and catching fish. Mandy and her dad were in from Texas and though it was SUPER windy they were able to check smallies off their bucket list.
You can tell they didn’t like it.
June is off to a great start and the topwater bite should only get better from here on out. Even though the rivers are low there’s still plenty of water to keep the fish happy and healthy and looking to eat. With the bite as strong as it is right now you can bet we’ll be on the river as much as possible, storms or no storms. Though we get a good surface bite in June, it’s just the start of it, July and August can be great so don’t miss out on the action. Give us a call if you’d like to get out on the water. Take care and be safe on the water.
Summer is creeping up on us and we’ve seen several days in the 90′s already, and it’s only June. Some might see this as a bad thing but not if your thinking about smallmouth. Warm weather equals aggressive fish and a good topwater bite which we’ve been looking forward to all spring. Though subsurface flies are getting most of the love the surface action is turning on and we’ve been taking advantage of it when we can. Some days the fish just aren’t looking up and a crawdad pattern fished along the bottom can’t be beat.
Andy fished hard all day and was rewarded with a brute and another soon after.
Most of our rivers and streams in the area are low and we could really use some rain but I’ll take low water over flood stage like we had last year any day. TVA has given us reliable flows on a regular basis on just about all the tailwaters here in East TN which have kept the fish happy and in return have kept the fishermen happy. With these consistent flows the fish have settled into a stable pattern and are feeding on a variety of crawdads, baitfish and aquatic insects.
Greg’s first time smallmouth fishing and he’s already sight casting to them.
There’s a small chance of rain everyday for the next 5 days but not enough chance to worry about it. Something to watch out for while on the water though is heat exhaustion, so make sure to drink plenty of water and take breaks in the shade if needed. June is off to a good start and should only get better from here on out. If you want to tangle with some smallmouth then give us a call and we’ll get you on the water. Take care and have a great day.