Hatches and More

As far as the fishing goes, May has been red hot whether it’s been fishing the streams in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, the tailwaters (Holston and Clinch Rivers) for trout or the lowland rivers (Little, French broad and Pigeon Rivers) for smallmouth. Despite the fact of little to no rain and the streams and rivers are low/clear, this hasn’t hindered the fishing at all.


The caddis hatch on the Holston has been great, but maybe the best word to describe it would be  reliable. And since the hatch had a late start the bugs should last well into June, at least we hope. The fish are looking up for the adults giving us a pretty good dry fly bite and although there might be slow parts in the day when the fish seem lethargic, nymphs will take up the slack.


Jonathan’s first day with a fly rod and he was up for the challenge. Great fish Buddy.


His dad Jerry wasn’t far behind either.

This time of year fish like these are a lot more active due to the amount of food in the water and the action can be steady through the day. The clear water means you need slightly longer casts with dead drifts right through the fish’s front door. I guess I’ll take the bugs over perfect flows any day of the week, we just can’t have our cake and eat it too.



One of the best sights to see. Bill hooked up with a nice fish.

On the other side of Knoxville on the Clinch River, the sulphurs are getting the fish fired up. The Clinch is known for being a finicky fishery where long casts and light tippet are needed, but with those big yellow bugs flying around there is a little more room for error. TVA has given wade fishermen a break lately and cut the generators off in the early afternoon, but keep a close eye on the schedule so you don’t get stranded.


Those Clinch rainbows definitely win the beauty contest.

As for the streams in the Smoky Mountains there’s nothing else to say other than stay low, wear dull colors and fishing yellow bugs (yellow sallies and sulphurs). To get away from some of the crowds and the heat we have been finding water higher on the mountain and hiking into the less inhabited areas where the boulders are bigger, the water is cooler and the peace and quiet is louder.

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Kevin and Ken enjoying the wet wading and dry fly fishing.

June will be here before you know it and although the trout fishing is still great, especially with terrestrials, this is a great time to be targeting smallies. Those post spawn fish will be looking to bulk up and won’t turn their noses away at an easy meal, especially everyone’s favorite…TOPWATER. GIVE US A CALL if you’re planning a vacation to East Tennessee or The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Also check out our Facebook page for quick updates. Thanks for reading the fishing report and have a great day.



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Their first time but certainly not their last

The low water conditions that we’re experiencing right now are quickly raising the water temps and making the fish more and more active every day. Most of our rivers have also become very clear offering some great sight fishing opportunities while being able to watch the fish come to the fly from a distance. The low/clear water can also make the fish a little spooky during the heat of the day, but changing tactics have helped keep the lines tight.



Kelly’s first time with a fly rod and scored a citation (20+”). Way to go!

Some of the fish are still spawning so we’ve had to keep an eye out for couples on the beds and make sure not to disturb them. We noticed a fish struggling on the bottom the other day and after some finagling, managed to get the fish in the net and cut the line, which was wrapped around a rock, to set him free. Sometimes things happen but fishing heavier line in the spring can help this from happening.

We’ve been fishing more streamers than anything lately mainly due to the cloudless days we’ve had making fish nervous to come to the surface.  Though subsurface flies have produced better over all, the topwater bite is getting stronger everyday and when the situation arrises we take full advantage of it. Before too long (I’m guessing the end of May or the first of June) we’ll see that consistent topwater bite and all the fish will be concerned more with eating than spawning.


Joy has never fished for bass or used a fly rod and decided to cross both off her list at the same time.

June, July and August can be some of the best fishing of the year and even though some of our rivers get too warm for trout, the smallmouth love it and thrive during the summer. If you’re planning your summer vacation to East TN or the Great Smoky Mountain National Park then GIVE US A CALL, we’ve love to show you some of the great fishing opportunities our state has to offer. While your in town don’t forget about stopping into Little River Outfitters for any gear, flies and terminal tackle.

Thanks for reading the fishing report and don’t forget to check out our FACEBOOK page for more updates and fishing conditions. Have a great Mothers Day.

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The heat is on

With the arrival of May comes warm weather, low flows and plenty of hungry fish. We’ve been experiencing days in the mid 80’s with mostly sunny skies which has been nice for a change. This sudden swing in weather and ideal water levels mixed with thick hatches have turned up the fishing to 11. This is the time we’ve been waiting for.

TVA has kept the generators turned off for some time now and this has warmed up the rivers quite a bit, especially the smallmouth waters. The recent spike in water temps has the fish on the prowl and looking to bulk up. Some of the fish have finished their spawn and others are just now getting on the beds but we expect them to be done in the next couple of weeks. The post spawned fish are aggressive and with the lack of food they are looking to make up for lost protein.


Gary with a citation and his biggest of the year, but there’s still a lot of the year left.

On certain occasions we’ve actually seen a decent topwater bite which we have taken advantage of but streamers and crawdad patterns have definitely gotten more love most days. The water right now is gin clear which is perfect for sight fishing especially for those loners sitting in the shallows. If May is this good then June and July should be fantastic.

The trout sections of the Holston River in Knoxville, TN have also been on fire with the annual caddis hatch under way. Tan and olive caddis in #16’s are hovering around and have the fish jumping for joy…literally. The late coming of the hatch means good numbers of bugs on the water but that could result in an abrupt ending so don’t hesitate if you’ve been thinking about getting in on the action.

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Dave and Doug with a couple of slabs.

Things have been busy lately with the nice weather and great fishing and there’s no place we’d rather be right now then on the river while the fish are biting. If you’re thinking of coming to East TN or the Great Smoky Mountains National Park then GIVE US A CALL so we can get you in on a relaxing day on the river. You can also check out our FACEBOOK page for short updates and photos from recent trips. Thanks for dropping in and reading the report, take care and have a great day.

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