Finally, trout rising and not the water

The streams are down, the bugs are hatching and the fish are rising, yep I guess it’s officially spring. We are finally out of the bad weather and the future forecast is looking pretty darn good with some days reaching into the 70’s. It feels good to stand in a stream and be able to feel your legs for a change. I guess the best thing to report is that the fishing is FANTASTIC right now with the majority of the flies being thrown are sitting on the water rather than in it. Not only are we fishing dries but size 12’s to boot and fish are definitely looking up for them.

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Number 12 Quill Gordons…….yes please.

The Quill Gordon is the main attraction, but not the only bug out there with plenty of Blue Quills and Brown Stones right beside them. With this much food flying around this means dry flies pretty much all day long. Nymphs will work too but lets face it who wants to fish a nymph right now, especially after the past month we’ve had. A parachute adams, thunderhead and brown stimulator will get the job done but a match wing Quill Gordon might fool some of those pickier fish. Don’t forget to stop by Little River Outfitters on you way into the Smokies to stock up on flies and some floatant because you’ll sure need them.

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Eli and Raven were beginners and got to see a good hatch first hand.

With the water temps warming up some of the brookie streams higher up the mountain are fishing better especially the newly opened Lynn Camp Prong which has been the talk of the town. The parking lot is usually full but the traffic doesn’t seem to affect the action at all. Things are good around here and if you get the chance to visit the Smokies then make the trip. You never know how long it might last so take full advantage of it while you can. If you’d like to get out with us, give us a call, we’d be glad to show you around.

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Gotta love browns eating dries.

As for the tailwater action, there’s not too much to talk about with all of them running high but hopefully that will change pretty soon. When they do decide to shut off the generators we’re betting that the fish are going to be hungry, aggressive and maybe even a little gullible since they haven’t seen anybody in a while. The last time we were out we noticed several caddis hopping across the surface and fish were hitting them. I’m guessing that things should be in full swing when the water slows down. At least for now we have the Smokies and we’re thankful for that. If you get the chance to get out be safe and have a great time. Thanks for reading and have a blessed day.

 

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Swollen streams = broken dreams

We have seen our fair share of bad weather lately and are just about over it. We can’t complain too much I guess considering how bad folks in the Northeast have had it, but we’re all going crazy and ready to hit the streams. Steady rain over the last week has made every stream in the area high and the ground has become so saturated that the creeks aren’t coming down fast enough. This has resulted in the canceling of several trips lately which is just part of the gig sometimes but it stinks to have to break the bad news to folks looking to get out for the first time of the year.

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The Prest couple on their Honeymoon. Has there ever been a better way to spend it?

Some days we’ve had small windows with decent flows to get out and wet a line, so we’ll take what we can get. At least during these trips the fishing has been pretty good with plenty of activity from fish and bugs. Those that have had the chance to get out haven’t had it easy but heck if you can catch them in bad conditions then you’re doing pretty good.  The topwater bite hasn’t become hot and heavy yet but receding water will help with that. Until then nymphs are still catching fish and we’re fine using them. Pheasant tails, hares ears and squirrel nymphs have been producing lately but mainly near the bottom of a deeper run.

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The newlyweds with their first wild trout from the Smokies.

As far as the tailwater fishing is concerned, there’s not much going on in our area. The Clinch and Holston rivers have been blown out and will be so for the next little bit. The weather forecast does predict some nice weather coming so keep an eye out for that along with the flow charts and maybe we’ll catch a break here soon enough. The Holston Caddis hatch isn’t far off and we did see several fish take some before the water was turned on, about a week ago. There should be some good opportunities for some healthy fish on dries once it’s all back to normal.

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Smallmouth season is right around the corner and for those seeking a good streamer bite this will be your chance to let off some steam from the past winter. I love spring smallies for so many reasons (too many to name) but one thing is for sure, those pre-spawn beauties are aggressive and hungry and make for a lot of fun on a fly rod, plus there’s a chance to catch a fish of a lifetime.  We have a lot of fishing options about to open up here in East TN and you won’t want to miss it. If you’re  itching to get out but don’t know exactly where to start, give us a call and we can help you plan your trip. Stay tuned for new updates concerning weather, flows and general activity as we see it. Take care and have a great day.

 

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A taste of Spring

We haven’t had much to talk about as of the last couple of weeks due to some really nasty weather. We have had everything from an ice storm covering the entire area with 2+ inches followed by 6 to 8 inches of snow only to end with a heavy warm rain to melt and flood everything. What can you say other than a normal winter for East TN, which normal for us means abnormal. The good thing is that we are almost out of it all and spring is right around the corner with days full of bugs hatching and fish rising.

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Even bad weather can have it’s upsides, like making incredible views and empty parking lots.

I decided to get out one day after the small “blizzard” hit our area mainly because cabin fever got to a boiling point and second I love fishing in bad conditions, don’t ask me why. Abrams Creek is a great place to fish during the winter because it’s made up of several different springs and the water will usually be warmer. Although there weren’t any bugs hatching, even midges, drifting nymphs along the bottom was a consistent way to catch fish.

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You know you’re in the right spot when the herons won’t give it up.

With Quill Gordons and blue Quills on deck patterns like pheasant tails, hares ears and pats nymphs are great but the bugs are still on the rocks, so get your flies down in front of the fish. One of my favorite patterns for this time of year may be the guides choice hares ear, it’s buggy and fish love it. You can also dead drift the nymph and swing it at the end of the run, kind of the best of both worlds. Make sure to stop by Little River Outfitters on your way to the river to talk with the guys and grab some flies or last minute items.

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The fish are healthy and have great color which is a for sure sign that we’re not far off.

Spring might be the best time of the year to be in the Smokies for the views, wildlife and fishing. We also had conformation that Lynn Camp Prong, which has been closed for a long time has finally been opened back up to fishing making every stream in the Smokies open which hasn’t been that way in 81 years. We’re all very excited about this and owe a huge thanks to the fisheries department of the GSMNP and TU for restoring  this to an all brookie stream again. You can check out the story from our local news station from the WBIR link.

If you are thinking of planing a trip to the Smokies and would like to see them in a different way then give us a call and we’ll show you how we like to see it, from the river. Keep up with our fishing reports and Facebook page for more updates on stream and fishing conditions. Take care and have a wonderful day.

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