Here it is February and we’ve got temps in the 70’s and water temps in the Smokies are reaching into the 50’s during the day. Bugs are hatching and fish are looking up for them most days. We’re seeing Quill Gordon’s and Blue Quills on a fairly regular basis along with the early Brown Stones which are a spring staple in the Smokies. All in all a perfect scenario for a good time in the Smoky Mountain National Park has finally arrived. There’s no telling how long it will last so get here and enjoy it before it turns cold again, which by going off of past Spring patterns is likely.
I love to see those Quill Gordons
Even if the occasional cold front pushes in and fowls up the freestone streams the Clinch and Holston Rivers keep consistent temps and scheduled flows for the most part. They are reliable fisheries throughout the spring and summer giving those that want to cover more water in a drift boat a chance at catching bigger fish. The Clinch River has been our main focus lately while fishing nymphs and streamers. While TVA kept the rivers high, streamers (put in the right place) worked very well. Now that the flows have eased up a bit we’ve spent most days fishing nymphs and even dries when the situation calls. We have been seeing sporadic sulfur activity which is early and is as inconsistent as the rain we’ve been waiting on. Midges however have been a different story.
2 of the best folks to ever get in my boat Lou and Kathy enjoying the nice weather
Steve with a great fish from the Clinch
Lee looked like this all day, the guy can fish.
Spring is generally regarded as trout season for most fly fishermen, and for good reason. It isn’t the only way to keep a bent rod here in the South however. When we’re not fishing for trout, we’ve been spending quite a bit of time finding staging Smallmouth in preparation for some of that awesome pre-spawn action. This isn’t the easiest time to catch Smallmouth but efforts can be rewarded with a great fish, maybe even several per day. Quality fishing looks like it may come earlier than expected……but we’ve been fooled before.
45 degree water doesn’t exactly make things fast and furious but it’s nice to get after them none the less.
So lets recap- Smokies trout eating big dries, tailwaters producing quality fish and numbers on top of pre-spawn Smallmouth are right around the corner. Man oh man this is a great time of year to be in the Smoky Mountains, and if I might add right here in the Maryville or Knoxville area which puts you right in the middle of it all. If any of this sounds like it’s up your alley then give us a call and let us show you first hand what we have to offer. Take care and have a great day.
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First off, I want to apologize for the lack of new info on the website. This past season was our busiest ever and we were on the water pretty much every day. Now I know that it’s not much of an excuse, but on top of being on the water every day we moved to a different home (still in Maryville), had to get the other one ready to sell and had family member health issues. We also have a 3 year old and another one on the way which takes up all free time left over. Although there was still time to hit up Disney world for Danielle’s first time as well as mine.
They sure do get sassy quick.
Now that we have some free time and we’re settled in somewhat I figured that I would take the time to get a fishing report up and let everyone know we are still here and doing great. For those that we fished with this past season, first we want to thank you all for fishing with us and all the support, second we are going to follow up with reports and pictures from the past season to show off all the fun memories and fish. For now I’m going to fill everyone in on what we’ve been working on and the things to come.
We haven’t had much of a winter this year and spring has come early. I got a chance to slip into the park for a couple hours and see what was going on the other day. Water temps are nice (45-50+) on the Little River with great flows and clarity. I did see quite a few brown stones on the banks and in the air along with a few blue quills which was a sight for sore eyes. Not many fish rising but enough to make me try a dry. Caught a few on dries but most fish were taken on nymphs. Fish were healthy and very feisty to say the least.
We have spent the majority of our winter on the Clinch with consistent results during low and high water. The Clinch is in good shape and the fish are a sure sign of it. Nymphs have been the main focus of our time on the water, some fish deep other times just below the surface and everything in between. Conditions are different everyday which has us being flexible with fly selections and depths, techniques, etc.
Glenn was on fire all day even with around 9,000 cfs
Lou kept the rod bent but had to pull into the trees to get a picture of this fish.
Bryan is all about streamers and you can see why, great fish. Also, go check out his pizza joint Uncle Maddio’s off of North Shore in Knoxville.
When the season ends and the weather sets in and tourism is down we do like to play. That means fishing for ourselves, hunting and getting plenty of family time. It also means finding new things to do and new places to go for the upcoming season which we spent time doing the past few months. We have another smallmouth float that we can offer this year (depending on flows) and a few new flies.
Danielle loves her some goose meat.
Last but not least we just received our new raft the other day from the fine folks at rockymountainrafts.com and we have been doing some modifications to the frame for more stability and comfortablity which equals more fun. We’re excited to see what this season has to offer and the new folks we’ll meet and of course our old favorites, you know who you are.
Can’t wait to put some brown fish slime on it.
There will be more recent fishing reports with current info and news on anything happening around us for sure this year. Thanks for reading our report and give us a call to fill all of your fishing needs. Have a great day.
Comments Off on A way overdue fishing report
So far our spring has been fantastic. We’ve had nice weather, maybe a little breezy at times but nice over all. We’ve also had great flows on the rivers, both freestones and tailwaters. Bug life is plentiful some days and sparse other days but either way the fish are feeding just fine and their girth shows it.
Even when we’ve fished the streams in the smokies and bugs are scarce the fish have been very aggressive on dry flies, especially between 10:00am-3:00pm. Sometimes the late afternoon bite will slow down on top so switching to nymphs can keep the bite going, but keep the dry’s handy because the evening bite will yield some good surface action. There are still quill gordons and blue quills around with the addition of tan caddis and the occasional brown stonefly. I also noticed several really early yellow sallies the other day crawling around the rocks.
The Holston River is fishing well all day with the current flows that TVA is putting out and the fish are healthy and aggressive and that’s putting it mildly. Midges are the main focus right now as we wait for the arrival of the caddis hatch. There are also plenty of opportunities for sight casting to fish “sipping” bugs which is a lot of fun, especially when we have been fishing nymphs most of the time. We’ve seen several sporadic caddis hopping around but no takers yet. Don’t worry though, it won’t be long until it all comes together.
The Clinch River hasn’t had ideal flows as the water has been off all day which can make for some finicky fishing. Long casts are necessary with fine tippet and long drifts. That being said, those up for the challenge can be rewarded with some quality and quite possibly some of the prettiest fish you’ll ever see. Hopefully they’ll start running water in the afternoons soon and things will be back to normal.
We also couldn’t wait any longer to start smallmouth fishing with this nice mild, warm weather we’ve had. Flows have been good but the water is still cold and even though the bite isn’t real aggressive we have found feeding fish and healthy ones at that. It feels sooooo good to get back at them and can’t wait to see what late spring has to offer. Spring smallmouth can be some of the best of the year as they’re moving around during pre-spawn.
We also had the opportunity to show our waters to Tim Holshlag who is a well known smallmouth fisherman and writer of several smallmouth books and articles. He is from Minnesota and spent many years fishing the Upper Mississippi. He is also the guy who created the blockhead popper and many other great smallmouth patterns. Check out his website at smallmouthflyangler.com.
If you are heading to East TN for your spring vacation or are simply looking for a place to go, we have plenty of fishing options to choose from. We currently have a few open dates for the second full week in April (11th-15th) as we had a cancellation come up. If you are interested in wetting a line give us a call, we’d love to show you what we have to offer in our beautiful area. Thanks for reading with us and we hope that you have a blessed day.
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