Fishing on the tailwaters has been good and the fish are fat and have a real attitude problem. The caddis are starting to hatch but they haven’t quite gotten there yet. Nymphs (Caddis Larva, Midge Pupa) have still been the biggest producer throughout the day. We have seen a little dry fly fishing but just enough to get the taste in our mouths. And word has it that there have been some sighting of sulfurs on the Clinch.
A couple of nice fish from the Holston.
The Smokies got dumped on with rain a few days ago and we had to reschedule some trips but were able to fish the smaller streams once the water got to a fishable level. The Quill Gordons or Blue Quills haven’t been hatching like we anticipated but the Brown Stones and March Browns have taken their place. We have even been spotting some Golden Stones and Yellow Sallies around the streams too. Pheasant tails, Prince Nymphs and Adams will do the trick in sizes 16 to 12.
Sticking to the pocket water and high sticking seemed to bring several fish to hand. Also wearing natural clothing and hiding in the shade doesn’t hurt.
The Smallmouth waters are fishing pretty good right now and when I say pretty good I am going off of the fact that the rivers aren’t blown out and muddy. The past few times that we have been out we have pulled in some pretty good numbers and the occasional nice one. We’re thinking the spawn is getting close due to the warmer water temps and the amount of buck bass we are seeing. The weather has been steady in the high 60’s to low 80’s which has been nice and should boost the smallmouth into eating heavily this week.
If the weather keeps up like this we could see some topwater action in the near future. I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself but we want to be ready for anything at this point. This has been one crazy Spring and we’ve pretty much had to throw the plans out the window and have plenty of options to choose from. I love it when the fishing and conditions are out of the ordinary because of the different routes you go to get the bite. Take care and have an awesome day.
Wow the weather has been up and down the last couple of days with heavy rains and the temperature gauge changing daily. The fishing on the other hand has only improved from it. In fact, Thursday we had a great day on the water with Joan and J.J. for some smallmouth action. The topwater bite was all day long and the fish were very aggressive. This was the first time for Joan and J.J. to be in a drift boat and they seemed to handle it very well.
Here are the first 2 fish for both Joan and J.J. Watching these fish blow up on poppers was very exciting.
There would only be a few sections on the float that we didn’t land fish, but still had action. With the cooler weather, the smallmouth were not picky and they would definitely eat a decently presented fly. Every once and a while a fish would sneak up behind the fly and sip it and it was usually a nice fish, but most of them would give us a show. Here are some more fish that we caught throughout the day.
It was a great day on the water with Joan and J.J. and getting to show them our world of fly fishing for smallies was awesome. If you think that this would be your type of trip give us a call and let us put you on fish like this. I had to throw in this picture of us anchored up for lunch. It just doesn’t get any better than this.
I have fished with Bob and Gail Dosser a couple of times and they are great folks. This time, Bob and Gail came up from Louisiana to get there hands on some smallies. The start of the float was pretty good and we had a lot of strikes, Gail even caught her first bass on a fly rod, heck on topwater, but soon after we started, the rain slammed us and the trip was ended. We did get to see a small fawn on an island on the way down, though. I look forward to taking them again for some of these hard hitters.
On the other hand, I took Jamie, Joe and Tom who are smallie fishermen from Kentucky into the park for some trout and they did pretty good. They grew up in an area similar to the National Park so they were right at home. Tom fishes a river in Kentucky that has class 4 whitewater during certain parts of the year and he floats it in a one man pontoon rig, so rock hopping in the Smokys was nothing.
Fishing the Smokys has been great with the fish really eating dries, especially terrestrials. When fishing bugs like beetles, ants, hoppers, crickets, and inchworms, stay focused on the fly because the fish tend to “sip” the fly more than blast it. With the air temps getting warmer, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to find higher elevation streams and fish in the morning and evenings.
Tyler and I made plans to have a small mancation for 2 days of solid fishing and camping. We planned on floating for smallies 1 day, then driving up to the South Holston and night fishing, then floating the South Holston the next day on the 240 cfs. Our plans changed quickly when TVA decided to run every tailwater full blast all day long for 4 days straight and not run the South Holston at all. In this business, you learn to make lemonade out of lemons, so we traded the drifter for the raft and decided to float the Little for smallies, then hike up Little River trail the next day for some dry fly action.
This is why I love smallies, because they are gluttons.
We have spent a lot of the last week fishing for smallmouth, especially on the Little River and Holston. Both are fishing really good throughout the day with streamers and poppers, but don’t forget about our friends with claws because we have caught several fish with claws in their throats. Whatever you are into we have it and it is top notch right now. So if you are thinking about a trip, give us a call or shoot us an email. Have a blessed day and see you on the river.