Deep in the dog days

As we hit the warmest part of the summer and most of the kids are back in school and family vacations are wrapped up until fall, we start to see fewer river traffic and fishermen on the water. Most folks don’t want to fish when the humidity is at 100% and air temps aren’t far behind but that hasn’t been the case for this year at all. It’s been a mild summer and the conditions have been just about perfect. The humidity can still be high some days but it’s August, it’s supposed to be humid.

We’ve had just about perfect generation schedules on the tailwaters and the mountain streams have had as good of flows as they’ve seen since the spring due to the regular afternoon showers. Some might be wondering if the topwater bite for smallmouth is over for the summer. Well, the topwater bite has still been good during the low light parts of the day (morning/evening) but fishing streamers has been more effective during the heat of the day. I know that fishing streamers isn’t everyone’s favorite way to fish but it can be deadly with big results if you’re willing to do it.

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After 2 days Matt and Landon had this fly fishing thing figured out.

With the rivers maintaining a consistent flow, fish will stay on a routine schedule and stage in their regular spots for late summer. Low water is great when having to fish streamers because the flies aren’t as heavy and we can swap the sinking lines for floating which are much easier to cast. One of the most exciting things about streamer fishing in clear water is getting to see the strikes and watching everything happen. Longer casts are necessary at times due to the water clarity that comes along with the heat of the summer, but not to worry, we set up our gear with easy casting/fishing in mind.

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The Riggleman’s tearing it up on their father/son trip.

With beautiful weather, great flows and awesome fishing what more could we ask the good Lord for. I think most fishermen consider August to be a dead month because of warm, dry conditions but here in East TN our tailwaters stay cool and those regular afternoon showers keep the fish active and angry. Before you know it we’ll see cool weather with changing leaves and wish we could get back on that summer smallmouth bite. Let us know if you’d like to get in on the action before it’s gone by contacting us HERE.

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The Stancil’s from Maryland scored a couple of honeymoon brutes.

I know I’ve been bad about keeping recent posts up as much as I should but I plan to keep them coming so stay posted to our website or our Facebook page for quick posts. Take care and be safe on the water.

 

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A way to beat the heat.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

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A few first timers

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.

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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.

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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.

 

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