Sunscreen and chiller killers

March has been pretty typical so far with drastic weather changes day in and day out. We’ve had temps near 70 and 2 days later, snow blowing sideways. We’ve seen this pattern over and over growing up here so we’re used to it. However, there is good news to report concerning the weather. The extended forecast is predicting that most of next week is going to be in the 60’s with lows in the 40’s.

Though the fish in the Smokies can be affected by the shifting weather patterns somewhat, the tailwater fish seem to keep on chugging along in full stride. That’s what is great about our part of the country. There are so many options to choose from giving us plan b, c and d.

 

Lee with some chunky boys from the Clinch on a warmer day, both streamers and nymphs.

Kyle had a different day for his first time with a fly rod, but the results were the same. His face got stuck like this and not because of the sub-freezing temps.

The fishing overall has been fantastic despite the weather and to top it off we are seeing plenty of bugs on the water. Midges are most plentiful and fish will always take one, however the sulfurs have been coming on stronger every day and on occasion fish have been rising to them. I’m hoping to see a lot more of this in the next few weeks with the increase of stable flows from TVA.

The Holston has had windows of minimum flows on the weekends which is a great sign for what’s around the corner. Days with fish heads coming up and sipping caddis off the surface aren’t far off, you definitely don’t want to miss that. In the mean time we’ll “settle” for some first class fishing on the Clinch. GIVE US A CALL to get out on the river. Have a blessed day.

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High or Low we’re gonna go

Depending on the day and time we head to the river TVA could give us any number of generation combinations. Most weekends the Clinch River and Holston River have had low flows allowing most wade fishermen opportunities to get some time on the river. Between the two rivers the Clinch has had the upper hand as far as a strong bite and reliability. During the weekdays however, the Clinch has been running consistently high, alternating between 1 and 2 generators all day from 1,500-4,500 cfs. This much water isn’t safe to wade but is great to float which has been perfect for covering more productive water by putting quantity and quality of fish in the boat.

         

Some think having bananas on the boat is bad luck, but regardless of what anyone thinks Jay and Rana weren’t buying into it.

Nymphs have been the main producers as of late which isn’t a surprise. What is surprising is that with high water like we’ve experienced for the last month we haven’t had to go very deep to get to the action. In fact some of the action is right below the surface or even on top. We have been seeing a few sulfurs flying around the Clinch which is pretty early but with the unusually warm spring we’ve had (except for this week) the bugs are getting off to an early start. Though the site of early sulfurs makes us feel all warm inside, the numbers of midges can be down right impressive and fish seem to be leaning towards them for the time being.

Though it’s not quite time for them, they are a sight for soar eyes.

I have a feeling that this Spring is going to be one you don’t want to miss with what we’ve seen so far. We’re all anxious to see what the Holston River has to offer and as soon as TVA decides to shut the water off you can bet we’ll be on it. Keep a look out for a Holston fishing report soon. If you’re coming to the Knoxville or Maryville area or decide to take a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, GIVE US A CALL and let us show you a day on one of our quality trout or smallmouth rivers. Don’t forget to stop by and see the guys at Little River Outfitters for all you fly fishing needs. Take care and have a blessed day.

 

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Fish out of water

We’re finally getting some consistent conditions for this time of year in East TN which means we also get some very inconsistent weather patterns. Warm and sunny for a few days with water temps spiking followed by sharp cold snaps with the potential for snow. That’s how it is here in our part of the world, but it’s what we know and we like it.

Those who have been in the Smoky Mountain National Park lately have already seen some great days on the water with loads of Blue Quills and Quill Gordon’s hatching with some Blue Winged Olives mixed in. Needless to say, when there are this many bugs hatching the dry fly fishing is fantastic even with the quick shifts in weather. March is probably my favorite time to fish and take folks into the Smokies because of the reliable dry fly fishing and a chance of a larger than average fish coming up to eat them. There are also fewer people at this time which allows you to have the place virtually to yourself most days. Remember even if there isn’t a thick hatch going on the fish will still rise to a well presented dry fly.

Unfortunately Alex had a couple big boys come unbuttoned but there were plenty of slabs to go around. Great job buddy.

The tailwaters are in a ball game of their own to boot with numbers of fish coming to hand and some quality fish at that. There has been some dry fly fishing on the tailwaters but mainly nymphs and streamers for the most part. Caddis are sporadic on the Holston but it’s typically an April hatch to start with, so any earlier is always a bonus. The Clinch has been hands down the place to be. Great midge hatches and the occasional spurt of sulphurs given the right conditions. I’ve got to say that it’s hard to beat where we live and we’re semi spoiled with all this great water in our backyard. If you haven’t been to East TN then it’s time to experience it first hand. Give us a call and we can help you see a side of it that most don’t get to see. Take care and have a blessed day.

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