Sunscreen and chiller killers

March has been pretty typical so far with drastic weather changes day in and day out. We’ve had temps near 70 and 2 days later, snow blowing sideways. We’ve seen this pattern over and over growing up here so we’re used to it. However, there is good news to report concerning the weather. The extended forecast is predicting that most of next week is going to be in the 60’s with lows in the 40’s.

Though the fish in the Smokies can be affected by the shifting weather patterns somewhat, the tailwater fish seem to keep on chugging along in full stride. That’s what is great about our part of the country. There are so many options to choose from giving us plan b, c and d.


Lee with some chunky boys from the Clinch on a warmer day, both streamers and nymphs.

Kyle had a different day for his first time with a fly rod, but the results were the same. His face got stuck like this and not because of the sub-freezing temps.

The fishing overall has been fantastic despite the weather and to top it off we are seeing plenty of bugs on the water. Midges are most plentiful and fish will always take one, however the sulfurs have been coming on stronger every day and on occasion fish have been rising to them. I’m hoping to see a lot more of this in the next few weeks with the increase of stable flows from TVA.

The Holston has had windows of minimum flows on the weekends which is a great sign for what’s around the corner. Days with fish heads coming up and sipping caddis off the surface aren’t far off, you definitely don’t want to miss that. In the mean time we’ll “settle” for some first class fishing on the Clinch. GIVE US A CALL to get out on the river. Have a blessed day.

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High or Low we’re gonna go

Depending on the day and time we head to the river TVA could give us any number of generation combinations. Most weekends the Clinch River and Holston River have had low flows allowing most wade fishermen opportunities to get some time on the river. Between the two rivers the Clinch has had the upper hand as far as a strong bite and reliability. During the weekdays however, the Clinch has been running consistently high, alternating between 1 and 2 generators all day from 1,500-4,500 cfs. This much water isn’t safe to wade but is great to float which has been perfect for covering more productive water by putting quantity and quality of fish in the boat.


Some think having bananas on the boat is bad luck, but regardless of what anyone thinks Jay and Rana weren’t buying into it.

Nymphs have been the main producers as of late which isn’t a surprise. What is surprising is that with high water like we’ve experienced for the last month we haven’t had to go very deep to get to the action. In fact some of the action is right below the surface or even on top. We have been seeing a few sulfurs flying around the Clinch which is pretty early but with the unusually warm spring we’ve had (except for this week) the bugs are getting off to an early start. Though the site of early sulfurs makes us feel all warm inside, the numbers of midges can be down right impressive and fish seem to be leaning towards them for the time being.

Though it’s not quite time for them, they are a sight for soar eyes.

I have a feeling that this Spring is going to be one you don’t want to miss with what we’ve seen so far. We’re all anxious to see what the Holston River has to offer and as soon as TVA decides to shut the water off you can bet we’ll be on it. Keep a look out for a Holston fishing report soon. If you’re coming to the Knoxville or Maryville area or decide to take a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, GIVE US A CALL and let us show you a day on one of our quality trout or smallmouth rivers. Don’t forget to stop by and see the guys at Little River Outfitters for all you fly fishing needs. Take care and have a blessed day.


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Some nice tailwater action

We got quite a bit of rain today in East TN and the mountain streams are flowing pretty perfect right now and they are still rising. The weather has been really nice, but we are about to see a cold front come in. I think it will only turn the fishing off for a day or two at the most. BWO’s are a safe bet to throw in sizes 16 and 18 especially since the water is going to be higher. We had a pretty good day on some tan caddis last week and then there are nymphs that always work.

The tailwaters are the big ticket right now. Because they are released from beneath the dam, the water is warmer than the air temp this time of year. This makes the winter fly fishing great on the Holston and Clinch Rivers. With the ideal flows that TVA gives us, you can expect to get plenty of opportunities for wading and floating on both rivers.


The fish on the Clinch seemed to be keyed in on midges and small pheasanttails more than anything. A good number of fish like these were caught all throughout the day. The water can be super clear and using light tippet may help out with those spooky fish. Also, use a lighter rod to protect the tippet.


Tyler spent a lot of time in this position.


The Holston has had pretty good caddis hatches lately and we are having plenty of dry fly action for the most part of the day. Your average fish might be in the 10 to 12 inch range, but there are plenty of them to go around. Some parts of the river seem to hold better than average fish in the 16 to 18 inch range with a shot at some pushing 20+.


This guy sipped an emerger off the surface.

The Holston is not known for it’s brown trout, but there are a few lying around here and there. You can usually tell because they are selective feeders.

Heading down river Ashley was drifting some nymphs through a run and she got a strike, only when she set the hook it didn’t want to come to the surface. We knew what she had on.


Of course I had to throw a streamer and try to get a smallie before the day was over.

Smallmouth fishing in the winter isn’t as productive as the warmer months, but if you’re willing to work for them and the weather is decent it can happen. With Christmas right around the corner and ideas for getting gifts harder to come by, we have something just for you. How about a gift certificate for a guided day of fly fishing for that special outdoor someone. If this seems like something you would like to do as a gift or stocking stuffer, give us a call and we can make it happen. We hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year and if we could make it a little better, we would love it. Click here to like and follow us on facebook for quick updates.











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