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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Winter brown fish……well sort of

One thing my dad used to always say is there was never a dull moment in our house growing up as we were always getting into something. That’s what we can say about the weather here in East TN. There’s been every kind of weather you can imagine in the last couple of weeks and this week looks like it’s going to follow suit and not let us down. One day it’s warm and sunny, the next we’re layered up with rain gear. Would I have it any other way……no, because it keeps us on our toes. Plus the fishing is too good to go anywhere else, and lets face it, who notices the weather when you’re catching fish anyway.

Glenn and I got out to chase some winter (if you want to call it that) brown fish this past week to see what we could get into. One thing we noticed right off the bat was that even though we’ve had several warm days, the fish were still pretty lethargic like you’d expect in February, which we figured would be the case. We did however change some things up and get on a slight pattern. Heck, it was just nice to be able to fish in a t-shirt for a change. I went to some of the old favorite spots that we’ve found fish in before for this time of year and though some were reliable others seemed to be barren, which probably means that it’s still early and they will need a little more time. The good thing is we’ve been finding enough fish to make it worth while to justify missing out on a good day fishing for quality trout. Talk about your tough decisions!

   

The Dr. was in the zone. I cant wait to see what spring will have to offer.

Not many fish live to tell the story of how they fought an eagle and won.

As the weather begins to stabilize and fish settle in to their spring holds the action will speed up and the bite will become more aggressive and you’ll want to be here when it does. For those that can’t wait until then, the fish are there and have to eat so come on over and we’ll try to get that itch scratched. Hang around the fishing report for the next little while, we’ll keep you posted on what we’ve seen. Thanks for reading and give us a call if you coming to the Knoxville, Maryville or Smoky Mountain area, also go check out our buddies at Little River Outfitters for all your fly fishing needs.

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Spring has Sprung

Here it is February and we’ve got temps in the 70’s and water temps in the Smokies are reaching into the 50’s during the day. Bugs are hatching and fish are looking up for them most days.  We’re seeing Quill Gordon’s and Blue Quills on a fairly regular basis along with the early Brown Stones which are a spring staple in the Smokies. All in all a perfect scenario for a good time in the Smoky Mountain National Park has finally arrived. There’s no telling how long it will last so get here and enjoy it before it turns cold again, which by going off of past Spring patterns is likely.

 

I love to see those Quill Gordons

Even if the occasional cold front pushes in and fowls up the freestone streams the  Clinch and Holston Rivers keep consistent temps and scheduled flows for the most part. They are reliable fisheries throughout the spring and summer giving those that want to cover more water in a drift boat a chance at catching bigger fish. The Clinch River has been our main focus lately while fishing nymphs and streamers. While TVA kept the rivers high, streamers (put in the right place) worked very well. Now that the flows have eased up a bit we’ve spent most days fishing nymphs and even dries when the situation calls. We have been seeing sporadic sulfur activity which is early and is as inconsistent as the rain we’ve been waiting on. Midges however have been a different story.

 

2 of the best folks to ever get in my boat Lou and Kathy enjoying the nice weather

Steve with a great fish from the Clinch

 

Lee looked like this all day, the guy can fish.

Spring is generally  regarded as trout season for most fly fishermen, and for good reason. It isn’t the only way to keep a bent rod here in the South however. When we’re not fishing for trout, we’ve been spending quite a bit of time finding staging Smallmouth in preparation for some of that awesome pre-spawn action. This isn’t the easiest time to catch Smallmouth but efforts can be rewarded with a great fish, maybe even several per day. Quality fishing looks like it may come earlier than expected……but we’ve been fooled before.

45 degree water doesn’t exactly make things fast and furious but it’s nice to get after them none the less.

So lets recap- Smokies trout eating big dries, tailwaters producing quality fish and numbers on top of pre-spawn Smallmouth are right around the corner. Man oh man this is a great time of year to be in the Smoky Mountains, and if I might add right here in the Maryville or Knoxville area which puts you right in the middle of it all. If any of this sounds like it’s up your alley then give us a call and let us show you first hand what we have to offer. Take care and have a great day.

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