Merry Christmas!

Christmas is a great time of year and probably my favorite because it’s the day we celebrate the birth of our Savior. The pressures of gift buying, family gatherings and traveling can get to you and a getaway for yourself is the best medicine. The weather channel is saying that we’re in store for some pretty decent weather for the next 5 days so it might be a good time to get out and fish.

The generation schedules on the Clinch and Holston are kind of hit or miss but if you can catch a good schedule and you have some time off, take advantage of it because you never know when you’ll see the water off again. The fishing has been good and there are some very nice fish willing to eat a whole variety of flies. Black flies have been thick at times along with midges and a few caddis fluttering around. The great thing is that the fish haven’t been hit too hard so fly selection isn’t as important. Your plain jane pheasant tails and zebra midges under an indicator or dry fly will work just fine.

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Sometimes simplifying things can have big results.

The streams in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are something to consider as well. The water is cold and the fish are sluggish but that doesn’t mean they can’t be caught. Getting your flies deep (on the bottom) is a good start, but if that’s not enough start putting on shot until you see your indicator “tick” the bottom. Sure it’s not as fun as watching a fish sip a dry off the surface but at least you’re catching fish. As far as flies go hares ears, prince nymphs and caddis larvae imitations will do the trick. Stop by and talk with the guys at Little River Outfitters, they’ll get you squared away with what you need.

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Jayson with a healthy rainbow that took a prince nymph.

Be careful while fishing in frigid temperatures, take some extra clothes along with you and don’t get too far from the car if you don’t have to. Also bring some hand warmers, you wouldn’t believe the moral boost it can be. I’ve fallen in way too many times and have learned this the hard way how miserable it can be. Have fun, be safe and have a very Merry Christmas.

 

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Catching a break in generation

It hasn’t been easy to find low water to fish around here lately especially on the tailwaters. If you’ve been checking the generation schedule everyday like we have then you probably have seen an occasional window here and there but not many. We’re seeing more breaks in the schedule with great flows for all day floating/wade fishing. I hate to jump the gun and set somebody up for a disappointment but if you have the option to get out then go because it will be worth the effort.

The Holston has fished pretty dang good on low water and the fish are happy and healthy. Stick with your standard flies like pheasant tails, hares ears and zebra midges because there’s really no need to go crazy with fly experimentation right now. Save those flies for when the fish have seen just about everything and start to get a little picky, sometimes going simple will put fish in the net.

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Tyler with a chunk.

Our fishing season is 12 months long and can be down right fantastic fishing midges for bigger fish in the winter. With Christmas and New Years right around the corner there can be a lot of stress in the air and a day to yourself catching a few fish could be just the medicine you need. Do yourself a favor and get out on the water and experience some great fishing first hand. Heck, if you are new to the area, sport, or just want to see some different techniques, give us a call and we’ll get you out on the water. Don’t forget about our gift certificates for any trip for that outdoorsman in your family that can be hard to shop for. Just CONTACT US and we’ll take care of everything.

We hope that everyone has a very Merry Christmas and that things don’t get too stressful for you. When things get tough just remember what Christmas is all about. Take care and have a great day.

 

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Early Winter setting in

Fall in East TN can be spectacular with stunning views of colorful Mountain sides from the middle of October till sometimes almost Thanksgiving. This year has been quite a bit different and the weather has turned cold quick. Here we are in “SNOW-VEMBER” and we’ve already seen several heavy snow falls in the mountains along with dustings in the valley. There have also been the occasional flooding problems here and there but that has settled down and the water looks great. The only threat to the fishing has been the water temps which have ranged anywhere from the low 50’s to the mid 30’s which can definitely throw the fishing off axis.

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Glenn landed several fish like this last week and deserved everyone of them for fishing in terrible conditions.

The fishing hasn’t been bad at all it’s just that the temps make it tough to stay warm and keep moral high. It’s pretty bad when you catch a nice fish and don’t want a picture with it just to keep your hands from touching the water, but I give credit to anyone that will come out and fish in those conditions. Fishing cold mountain streams means changing techniques to fit the situations. Dry fly fishing is almost completely gone now but fishing nymphs can be just as fun if done right and can even produce some better sized fish, not to mention it keeps the rod bent in tough conditions. Small nymph’s like 18’s and 16’s with light tippet (5x-6x) will do the trick.

Something else to keep in mind is staying out of the fast water where the fish would have to work hard to swim. Cold water slows the fish’s metabolism way down making them sluggish and they’re not going to want to waste energy to get a small meal. Slower pools will definitely produce more activity. Just make sure to add the right amount of weight for the water you’ll be fishing and get those flies to the bottom.

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Jules landed this beauty on a number 18 nymph in frigid temps.

The good news is that starting Friday we should see a warming trend with days in the 50’s and even 60’s which will be a nice break from the teens which we’re sitting in while writing this report. This dramatic change in weather should turn the feed on and get the fish active. Heck, it will be nice to just be on the water with the sun shining. The tailwaters are also still running high but should be cutting off soon once they get the lakes down to their winter levels. When this happens it should be fantastic since the fish haven’t seen much in the way of fishing traffic.

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9,000 cfs isn’t easy to fish in but it can be done.

Our season is winding down and we’re seeing less and less traffic on the roads and more open pull off’s in the Smokies. This is that time of year when solitude can be found once again on the river where you might not see another fisherman all day. I love this time of year personally, it’s become one of my favorite times of year and we get a lot of fishing done. If you’re in town and would like to get out on the water don’t give up on the idea of catching fish; GIVE US A CALL and we’ll take you out and show you how.

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