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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Fall has definitely arrived

With the arrival of fall we’re seeing cool nights with lows in the 40’s and high’s in the 70’s. The water temps are dropping slowly and you can tell a difference in the fish’s attitude. The Smokies have been fishing well with both dries and nymphs and there have been quite a few bugs flying around throughout the day. One of our favorite hatches in the fall are the Isonychia’s or slate drakes which are size 12 dries and have started popping off in the mountains.

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Is there anything better than kids catching fish?

The tailwaters are having decent flows and the fish have been pretty active despite the warmer than average water for this time of year. It’s not fatally hot but fish don’t need to be played very long or handled too much. I recently helped out Mike Bone on a float trip down the Holston and the fish were fairly aggressive and had good weight to them which was great to see them surviving the summers. There were a few caddis and cahills hatching but midges were in far greater numbers. The fishing on the Holston should be great this fall and winter.

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2 fish in 4 casts with another one breaking off. Bill had it going on.

As for the smallmouth enthusiast the fall bite can be great here in East TN with the smallmouth bulking up before the cold weather sets in. The fish have been very aggressive to say the least and have been taking both topwater and streamers. With some of our tailwaters being smallmouth rivers the water takes longer to cool down, making for a longer than normal season. This changes from year to year but you can usually bank on the bite going strong pretty much through October and sometimes the even the first of November. Every weather channel I have seen says we’re in for a cold winter so we’ll just have to see, but we’ll be out there no matter what.

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Some thick slabs putting an 8 wt to the test.

Seeing someone hook up with a fish is always fun but “doubles” are something you don’t forget especially when both fish are around 18 inches, that’s when things get hairy.

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A thing of beauty.

The fall might just be the best time of year with the leaves changing and the cool air coming in, but it gives us one last good run before the nasty weather hits us leaving only memories until spring. If you want to get out on the water GIVE US A CALL, we’ll be out there anyways so you might as well be with us. Take care and have a blessed day.

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Here comes the cool weather.

It definitely feels like Fall in the mornings and the evenings as of the last few days. The highs during the day have been in the mid 70’s and the lows at night in the 50’s. The drop in the air temperature has the water getting cooler every day and it’s put the trout in the Smokies in a good mood.

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Zack and Tim made their first trip to the Smokies a success.

We noticed #12 Slate Drakes (Isonychia’s) flying around today in small numbers and even the sporadic October Caddis. That is a for sure sign of fall fly fishing in the Smokies. We fished #16 yellow stimulators and #14 parachute adams and caught fish throughout the day. The water in the Little River spiked at close to 500 cfs a few days ago and is back down to 150 cfs or 1.75 ft. This is great for fishing dry flies, so if you are thinking of coming to the Smokies for a getaway then now would be a good time.

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Stay low and fish the pocket water and seems. Tim giving a perfect example.

The Holston and French Broad tailwaters have been running generators during the day and shutting off at night and if you know where to look and stay ahead of the generation there are options to choose from. The Clinch has been off all day in continuance of the weir dam construction and running water all night. This can make the fish very finicky because of the low clear water with no pulses in between.

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Early fall fishing is some of the best of the year.

Popping bugs are still bringing fish to the surface and on several occasions some chunky fish at that. There have been days when the topwater action will slow down for a little bit and taking flies to the fish did the trick. Hopping crawdads along the bottom is easy and can take up the slack during a slow period. The fish are gorging in between high generation and taking advantage of low water. We are still getting enough low water during the day to get a full day of fishing in. I hope you get the chance to visit our area while the weather and fishing are exceptional. If you want to spend a day on the water then give us a call and we will make it happen CONTACT US. Take care and have a blessed day.

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