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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It’s finally happening

We’ve been seeing some typical spring weather in East TN for the last few days and it looks like its going to continue into next week. The warm sunny days have had the caddis and stones moving around in the afternoons making it a little easier for fishermen to get in some dry fly action. We have had short glimpses of quill gordons and blue quills here and there but the fish haven’t really keyed in on the adults, until today that is. We can finally report that we witnessed a decent hatch of quill gordons and blue quills even if it was for a short while.



Good to see these guys again.

The fish were hitting them with gusto and didn’t let many get off the water. The thing I love most about these bugs is that a big #12 parachute adams does the trick just as good as anything else. When the fish get a taste for them they usually throw caution to the wind and will take something remotely close to size and color. The first couple of fish “slapped” at my fly and I whiffed it, but the next one knew what he wanted and it was a good surprise.



Just doesn’t get any better.

The quill gordons only lasted for about an hour but it was all we needed. The blue quills mixed in half way through and lasted about an hour as well. The blue quills are smaller around a #16 but hatch in better numbers, keeping the fish busy on the surface. Keep both of these in your box ready to go because you never know which one you’ll need, or just go with us, we have plenty.



If you are planning a trip keep in mind that this is the start of the hatches so the first little bit can be sporadic but all that should change in the next week. Lets hope that the weather remains stable and keeps the bugs on the move because it would be nice to see some more of this. Take care and have a great day.

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A long overdue report

Sorry for the late fishing report, we have been swamped with home improvement projects that started with a new dish washer and ended up with an almost new kitchen. To be honest there hasn’t really been much to report since the rivers have been running high and the temperatures have dropped back into the lower 40’s. Before this last cold front we were seeing good numbers of blue quills, black caddis and brown stoneflies on the Little R iver in the afternoons and even the first signs of quill gordons.


We’re still catching fish on nymphs most of the time but we are seeing a little action on dries. It’s still pretty early for the fish to be keying in on the adults but it’s just a matter of time now. Things are looking up for the 10 day forecast with the highs being in the 50’s and plenty of sunshine to boot.


The tailwaters haven’t had great schedules as of lately and we have had to reschedule trips because of it but that’s not unusual for this time of year. The Clinch has been running water nonstop for a while and the only option is to throw streamers which isn’t easy but can be rewarding. The anticipation of seeing a big fish come out is motivation enough to keep casting.


The good news is that the Holston has had plenty of midges on the surface to keep the fish active and at times almost too many making it tough for the fish to find yours in the mix. It won’t be long until we see caddis skating across the water and splashy rises from eager fish. This is a fun time of year to be on the Holston and probably some of the best dry fly fishing of the year. If you’re thinking of coming into town and wanting to get on the water GIVE US A CALL and we’ll get you in on the action. Take care and have a great day.

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