Tailwaters fishing well

Our local tailwaters have been fishing very well lately with plenty of active fish and ideal flows. The Holston river has had good flows for a little while but with TVA slowing down the generation at Norris Dam we now also have the option of fishing the Clinch river. The Holston has been great for floating and wade fishermen, unlike the Clinch which has given those with boats a better chance to sample it’s goodies. Those who have fished the Holston during the caddis hatch have seen it’s potential, likewise with the sulphurs on the Clinch. Even without the main attractions there’s no shortage of midges to keep the fish happy and healthy, but I can only imagine what’s to come.

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Dan from NY wearing them down.

Everything’s a few weeks behind here although we have started seeing sporadic caddis dancing across the water, but the fish aren’t eating them yet. Once the caddis decide to come off a little more regularly the dry fly fishing will be top notch, I mean what could be better than quality fish eating dries. Small bead head pheasant tails and a variety of midges drifted low and slow has produced the best results. Midday can mean spooky fish while the sun gets directly over head and long casts are needed at times.

With temperatures reaching into the 80’s this past week it seems as if we cruised right through Spring and went straight into Summer. These warmer days are nice and have been absolutely welcomed but the quick change in weather has also brought the occasional thunderstorm. If you decide to come to the Smokies make sure to bring you sunscreen AND rain gear.



Dawson on his first float trip and off to a good start.

It feels good to have some stable weather, water and fishing which we’re hoping continues for a while, but regardless we’ll be out there rain or shine as long as the fish decide to play. We’ll keep you posted on river conditions and fishing reports as much as possible. If you would like to book a trip GIVE US A CALL and we can get you on the water for a fun day on the river. Also for quick updates you can go to our Facebook page and see what is going on between fishing reports. Take care and we hope you have a blessed day.

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A crazy couple of weeks

This last couple of weeks have been busy to say the least, but in a good way. I know the fishing report has suffered big time but now with everything done we can get back in the rhythm of things. The weather and the water flows haven’t been that great so it’s not like we had much to write about. Now don’t get me wrong there have been some good days here and there but we had to think outside the box. When we couldn’t get out to fish we still spent our time on the water but left the rods at home.

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The streams in the smokies have been really cold with temps getting down in the 30’s and that slows things down significantly. That’s why the tailwaters are the better choice in the winter with more consistent temps around 50. When the tailwaters are off the fishing can be good but it’s just finding a window to get out that can be a challenge. Midges are about the only bug you’ll see on the water, but those tiny bugs are what keep the fish active. You can’t go wrong with brown or olive but don’t be afraid to experiment with different colors if the same ole doesn’t produce. Who knows, you might find your new go to fly.

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A couple of weeks ago I got the chance to go on my first mission trip with Freedom International (itisforfreedom.com) in the Dominican Republic. These missionaries down in the Dominican are doing an incredible amount of work for the Lord teaching the Haitians how to read and write in the school that they built by hand. They also travel to the villages in the sugar cane fields speaking the Gospel through VBS to the families. These folks have left their lives back in the states to dedicate their time to the cause and are funded only through donations. If you would like to help out you can contact them through their website.

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freedom team

The Freedom Team


After getting back from the Dominican we only had a couple of days to get things washed and ready to head back out for a family vacation to Mexico. It was nice to get away and not have an agenda for the week. The days pretty much consisted of playing by the pool with Danielle, walking down the beach and laying around.


One of the days I did manage to get with my guide Enrique for a day of bone fishing on the flats. Stalking bonefish on the flats can be frustrating sometimes but when you look at your surroundings and you remember that it’s in the 70’s and sunny you forget about everything else, especially when you hook up. We probably landed about 10 or 12 bonefish over the day and lost that many more. Enrique is a great guide and knows these flats better than anyone. I even told him that I’ve never caught a snook and he put me on my first one.

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This saltwater stuff is addicting.

Now that we’re back home and things are back to normal, trips are booking up and everyone seems to be planning for spring early. I hope we have a good quill gordon hatch this year to start us off, that would be nice. It might be the best hatch of the year. Maybe it’s because it’s the first one or because they’re the biggest mayfly we have and they come off in good numbers. Either way we’re looking forward to it.

If you’re thinking of planning a trip to the Smokies this spring then give us a call and we’ll get a trip set up for you to get out on the water for one of these great hatches. We hope you have a blessed day and thanks for reading. Take care.



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Merry Christmas!

Christmas is a great time of year and probably my favorite because it’s the day we celebrate the birth of our Savior. The pressures of gift buying, family gatherings and traveling can get to you and a getaway for yourself is the best medicine. The weather channel is saying that we’re in store for some pretty decent weather for the next 5 days so it might be a good time to get out and fish.

The generation schedules on the Clinch and Holston are kind of hit or miss but if you can catch a good schedule and you have some time off, take advantage of it because you never know when you’ll see the water off again. The fishing has been good and there are some very nice fish willing to eat a whole variety of flies. Black flies have been thick at times along with midges and a few caddis fluttering around. The great thing is that the fish haven’t been hit too hard so fly selection isn’t as important. Your plain jane pheasant tails and zebra midges under an indicator or dry fly will work just fine.

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Sometimes simplifying things can have big results.

The streams in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are something to consider as well. The water is cold and the fish are sluggish but that doesn’t mean they can’t be caught. Getting your flies deep (on the bottom) is a good start, but if that’s not enough start putting on shot until you see your indicator “tick” the bottom. Sure it’s not as fun as watching a fish sip a dry off the surface but at least you’re catching fish. As far as flies go hares ears, prince nymphs and caddis larvae imitations will do the trick. Stop by and talk with the guys at Little River Outfitters, they’ll get you squared away with what you need.


Jayson with a healthy rainbow that took a prince nymph.

Be careful while fishing in frigid temperatures, take some extra clothes along with you and don’t get too far from the car if you don’t have to. Also bring some hand warmers, you wouldn’t believe the moral boost it can be. I’ve fallen in way too many times and have learned this the hard way how miserable it can be. Have fun, be safe and have a very Merry Christmas.


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