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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One thing the fishing and the weather have in common is they’re both hot. Some days we’ve seen the air temps in the mid 90’s with the signature high humidity that we’re so accustomed to here in East TN. These weather patterns aren’t normal for June and the spike in temps have brought afternoon thunderstorms some days with small showers to cool things off. We’ve been making sure to stay hydrated and take plenty of breaks when necessary.

On the plus side, the fishing has been fantastic; the water is staying cool from nightly generation and the fish are healthy and have quite a mean streak. Most smallmouth rivers are free flowing and can rise with rain, heat up quick with warm weather and get low with droughts. Several of our rivers are tailwaters which tend to stay cooler during the summer with regular water releases (pulses) during the day keeping water levels/temps more stable with the abnormal conditions.


Forrest came down from Chicago to find a citation and with hard work, he found it.

We’ve been seeing a decent topwater bite somedays with the occasional nice fish taking poppers, but it’s not been fast and furious. Everybody’s favorite way to catch smallmouth on a fly is definitely with topwater but it’s not always the most productive way. Fishing subsurface flies will always produce more fish and usually better fish due to the lack of energy a fish has to use to get to the fly. Fishing crawdads and baitfish can be very effective especially during the summer months and can keep the lines tight during those hot/sticky days.

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Errol’s first time fly fishing for smallmouth and he knocked it out of the park.

The weather for June has been abnormally hot but despite the fact the fishing has been great. The summer bite is on and when you’re focused on working a popping bug or streamer, you don’t even notice the heat. Hopefully we’ll see some cooler weather here soon and maybe even a little rain along with it. If you’re interested in trying something different or just want to get out and chase your favorite fish give us a call and we’ll get a trip set up for you. Also check us out on Facebook for short updates and conditions. Take care and have a great day.




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