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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Everything is mixed up

Looking at last weeks weather forecast we didn’t get any good conditions like they called for. In fact this week some reports called for 1 to 3 inches of snow and others said 8 to 12. I know one thing, we got a lot of snow for the south, that’s for sure. Ashley measured the depth of the snow on the grill and it was just shy of 8″. Here we are preparing for the upcoming dry fly season in the Smokies with the arrival of the quill gordon and we get a blizzard (again we live in the south).

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At least the dogs got something out of it.

These were taken this morning as the snow continued to fall, but has started to melt leaving behind small streams on the side on the road. We’ll be watching the river gauge pretty closely to see how much this will affect the rivers in our area but I’m betting the fishing will be done for a little while with high cold water from the snow melt.

Before the crazy weather hit us I managed to get on Little River on Monday to see what was going on. The water levels were good but it was still really cold. The first spot I stopped at I noticed a decent fish sitting in front of a rock feeding. I made 2 casts and the fish took.

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Not a giant but it’s always fun to sight fish no matter the size.

The fishing was pretty good until about 2:00pm, that’s when the cold front pushed in, after that it was done. I’ve had my best success on small black stoneflies, small caddis larvae and attractor nymphs like a birds nest fished on the bottom of deeper pools with an indicator. This crazy weather around here has everything screwed up around here including the wildlife.

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This Northern Ring-Necked Snake came out a little too early.

The weather channel is calling for some great weather this coming week up into the 60’s, so let’s hope they’re on target this time. If you are coming into the area soon to get in some early fishing than bring a parka, rain jacket and wet wading gear just to cover all the bases because you never know what’s coming around here. We’ll keep you posted on the latest conditions in the area so stay tuned and who knows, maybe those BIG GREY BUGS will come off before you know it.

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Taking advantage of the situations……what few there are

It’s been a little while since we’ve had something to write about due to the poor conditions we’ve had lately, but looking at the 10 day forecast for our area we are in the clear……for now. We’ve got a small cold front coming though tonight but the rest of the week looks good.

The streams in the Smokies have been running high for a while and it seems like every time the water starts to come down we get more rain and it starts to rise again. The only good thing is that the rain leaking into the streams is warm which has kept the water temps up. If you watch the water gauge for the Little River (link on our home page) and find it down one day get out and fish because it will probably be good.

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The only thing that has been fishable lately has been the Holston River below Cherokee Dam and it’s been spotty at best. The generation schedule has been very irregular the past week. Some days the river is high, some days it’s low and others it fluctuates  every 3 to 4 hours. Mix these schedules with sporadic weather and the fishing can suffer. The biggest reason (from what we’ve seen) has been the lack of bug life moving around and hatching. When this happens the fish can be very finicky and hard to move.

The Holston was off all day yesterday, which was a shocker so naturally we had to load up the boat and take advantage of the flow.  At first the action was pretty slow with a few fish here and some nicer fish coming unbuttoned at the boat, but things got a lot better around lunch time, right around the time the rain started. Most of our fish came on nymphs (pheasant tail and hares ear variations) and streamers fished low and slow through the deeper runs. There was the occasional pod of rising fish that would take a dry but were easily put down if over fished. Most of the bugs we saw were midges bouncing off the water along with a few caddis here and there.

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The unpredictable weather keeps us on edge looking for the next time when we can get out on the water. Sometimes the flows and the weather don’t line up, heck they hardly ever seem to this time of year. If you just have to get out of the house and need to wet a line, you can expect to fish in less than perfect conditions. Even if the weather isn’t great the fishing can make up for it, plus you might catch a glimpse of a something spectacular that you couldn’t have seen while staying at the house.

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We’re getting ready for Spring by tying flies in hopes of seeing an early Quill Gordon hatch. Hopefully we’ll see them a few weeks early like we did a couple of years ago, but by the look of things lately all we can do is hope. We’re starting to book trips for the Spring and looking forward to getting folks out on the water for some great dry fly fishing. The Smokies along with our local tail waters can fish well starting in late February/early March and if you’re looking at getting out then give us a call (CONTACT US), we’d be glad to have you. Take care everybody and be safe on the water.

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