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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Let’s hope for that early spring

It’s been a while since our last report so I figured it was due time to jump back into it. We have had a funky winter, or the lack of one. It’s been abnormally warm this year with quite a bit of rain off and on keeping the rivers on the higher side, but not blown out. We’re going through a warm spell right now but there is a front pushing through and next week will get cold again.

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Typical weather as of lately.

The fishing has been pretty good depending on which river you fish and/or the weather conditions. The Clinch river has been running water pretty much non-stop but fishing is still good. We’re mainly fishing streamers and nymphs but with high water getting flies in front of the fish is the biggest part, no matter what you throw. Fishing high water can be challenging at times especially if you are just starting out but can be very productive. Whether you’re a beginner or veteran it makes no difference we can work with you and get you on the right track.

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Katie surprised Kyle with a float trip for his birthday. We had a great time.

The Holston has had small windows of zero generation here and there but has mainly been running high for a while which is tough to fish on that river. It shouldn’t be long before they stop the generators and we can get on the great midge fishing that the Holston has to offer in the winter.

The streams in the Smokies have benefitted greatly from this extremely warm winter and water temps and conditions are in good shape. I know the fish are happy about having water temps between the 40’s and 50’s in January. There’s not much hatching right now except for some sporadic black stoneflies and a caddis or two. Nymphs have worked well fished near the bottom and fishing during the heat of the day doesn’t hurt. Mornings and evenings can be a little slow during those cooler nights.

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Brian guides down in Islamorada for 100+ lb tarpon, big bonefish, permit and snook. However when he has time off he loves chasing wild trout in the Smokies with a 2 wt.

We also had the opportunity to join Faith Bible Church in Cincinnati to head back down to the Dominican Republic to work with Freedom International. They have 2 big projects they’re working on and have been for the last 5 years. The first is building a school for the kids living in the nearby villages around Ramon Santana and around the city of San Pedro. Second is building apartments for the missionaries living down there and the teams that come to visit. It’s amazing to see the work that God is doing in the Dominican with such a small team of dedicated people and with the help of various teams coming in to help. Check out what the team is up to at www.itisforfreedom.com.

 

We’re on our way to spring and the thought of dry fly fishing with quill gordons in the Smokies and caddis on the Holston isn’t too far away. Hopefully we’ll see an early spring and a quick start to surface activity. Regardless of the bug activity or the lack thereof, subsurface fishing is the way to go and has kept the lines tight. If you’re thinking of planning a spring trip, give us a call, we have plenty of options to choose from and the weather can be great. Take care and have a blessed day.

 

 

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Dog days are here

August has been fairly cool for the most part and the weather has been nice but then again we’re just at the start of it. We’ve had some rain here and there which has been good for the rivers in the Smoky Mountain National Park and other freestone rivers in the area. Most of the tailwaters like the Holston, Clinch and French Broad rivers aren’t affected much by rain except for the color and maybe a little extra water. There are several big feeder streams on each river that can add some stain to the water and a little bit can be good. That has been the case as of lately with the occasional afternoon shower, but the off color can only help.

As for the fishing side of things the smallmouth bite is still going on strong and depending on the weather and generation schedule we’re still seeing good action with topwater. The subsurface action will always yield more fish but when there’s a chance to catch some on top not many want to pass it up. Some days the fish can get picky and we’ve had to change flies and techniques but for the most part the fish are in the usual late summer groove, it is August after all.

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Love that summer time bronze.

Smallmouth fishing in the summer time is great but not the only thing around. We have several great trout fisheries that fish well through the warmer months. There’s still some bug activity (caddis, sulphurs, etc.) lagging behind which still has the fish looking up. During the heat of the day the fish are a little skittish and nymphs will be a better choice. The hard part is getting a decent generation schedule with low water but you take what you can get and make the best of it.

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Dry flies are hard to beat.

August is a great time to be in East TN and there are plenty of options for every angler to choose from. One great thing about this time of year with school back in session and warm weather is the lack of crowds on the rivers. If you are coming to the area or looking for something out of the ordinary then give us a call and we can arrange a trip for you to see what our area has to offer. Make sure to stop by Little River Outfitters for all of your fly fishing needs and check out their excellent warm water selection. Take care and have a great day.

 

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