Spring TN smallmouth fly fishing

We haven’t even made it through April and what a start to the East Tennessee smallmouth season it has been. We have seen every type of weather that you can imagine from hot and sunny days to freezing temps with snow blowing in 30 mph winds and oh yeah, inches of rain in a single day…. and that’s all in the same week. Some rivers are running high and others are low but we have spent a lot of time on these rivers finding fish and feeding them what they are looking for. We also have drift boats and rafts to effectively fish these waters no matter the water levels.

  

Fishing has been good overall with the exception of major cold fronts with air temps dropping 40 degrees overnight and even then we’re still catching fish.  However, those conditions definitely add challenges. The good news is the warming trends after these cold fronts bring the aggressive bite that those die hards chasing after pre spawn smallmouth are looking for. This is some of the best fishing of the year as bigger fish get aggressive before they spawn.

May is also a great time to target smallmouth as they are usually getting off the beds and looking to put on weight after losing so much during the spawn. This is when things start to get cranked up and the weather can be really nice. May is getting close to being booked up but there are a few spots open if you are still looking to get out on the water and get a tight line. This is not a time you want to miss out on around the Maryville, Knoxville and Smoky Mountains area.

Our best time of year is late spring and through the entire summer. This is the time when TVA stops generating so much water making it easier to plan floats way in advance and smallmouth start settlling down and aren’t moving around so much, making for stable fishing conditions and reliable patterns. Give us a call or email for all your Tennessee Smallmouth needs and we’ll get you on them rain or shine. Also check us out on instagram and facebook for more info. Have a blessed day and stay safe.

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Catching a break in generation

It hasn’t been easy to find low water to fish around here lately especially on the tailwaters. If you’ve been checking the generation schedule everyday like we have then you probably have seen an occasional window here and there but not many. We’re seeing more breaks in the schedule with great flows for all day floating/wade fishing. I hate to jump the gun and set somebody up for a disappointment but if you have the option to get out then go because it will be worth the effort.

The Holston has fished pretty dang good on low water and the fish are happy and healthy. Stick with your standard flies like pheasant tails, hares ears and zebra midges because there’s really no need to go crazy with fly experimentation right now. Save those flies for when the fish have seen just about everything and start to get a little picky, sometimes going simple will put fish in the net.

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Tyler with a chunk.

Our fishing season is 12 months long and can be down right fantastic fishing midges for bigger fish in the winter. With Christmas and New Years right around the corner there can be a lot of stress in the air and a day to yourself catching a few fish could be just the medicine you need. Do yourself a favor and get out on the water and experience some great fishing first hand. Heck, if you are new to the area, sport, or just want to see some different techniques, give us a call and we’ll get you out on the water. Don’t forget about our gift certificates for any trip for that outdoorsman in your family that can be hard to shop for. Just CONTACT US and we’ll take care of everything.

We hope that everyone has a very Merry Christmas and that things don’t get too stressful for you. When things get tough just remember what Christmas is all about. Take care and have a great day.

 

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Early Winter setting in

Fall in East TN can be spectacular with stunning views of colorful Mountain sides from the middle of October till sometimes almost Thanksgiving. This year has been quite a bit different and the weather has turned cold quick. Here we are in “SNOW-VEMBER” and we’ve already seen several heavy snow falls in the mountains along with dustings in the valley. There have also been the occasional flooding problems here and there but that has settled down and the water looks great. The only threat to the fishing has been the water temps which have ranged anywhere from the low 50’s to the mid 30’s which can definitely throw the fishing off axis.

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Glenn landed several fish like this last week and deserved everyone of them for fishing in terrible conditions.

The fishing hasn’t been bad at all it’s just that the temps make it tough to stay warm and keep moral high. It’s pretty bad when you catch a nice fish and don’t want a picture with it just to keep your hands from touching the water, but I give credit to anyone that will come out and fish in those conditions. Fishing cold mountain streams means changing techniques to fit the situations. Dry fly fishing is almost completely gone now but fishing nymphs can be just as fun if done right and can even produce some better sized fish, not to mention it keeps the rod bent in tough conditions. Small nymph’s like 18’s and 16’s with light tippet (5x-6x) will do the trick.

Something else to keep in mind is staying out of the fast water where the fish would have to work hard to swim. Cold water slows the fish’s metabolism way down making them sluggish and they’re not going to want to waste energy to get a small meal. Slower pools will definitely produce more activity. Just make sure to add the right amount of weight for the water you’ll be fishing and get those flies to the bottom.

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Jules landed this beauty on a number 18 nymph in frigid temps.

The good news is that starting Friday we should see a warming trend with days in the 50’s and even 60’s which will be a nice break from the teens which we’re sitting in while writing this report. This dramatic change in weather should turn the feed on and get the fish active. Heck, it will be nice to just be on the water with the sun shining. The tailwaters are also still running high but should be cutting off soon once they get the lakes down to their winter levels. When this happens it should be fantastic since the fish haven’t seen much in the way of fishing traffic.

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9,000 cfs isn’t easy to fish in but it can be done.

Our season is winding down and we’re seeing less and less traffic on the roads and more open pull off’s in the Smokies. This is that time of year when solitude can be found once again on the river where you might not see another fisherman all day. I love this time of year personally, it’s become one of my favorite times of year and we get a lot of fishing done. If you’re in town and would like to get out on the water don’t give up on the idea of catching fish; GIVE US A CALL and we’ll take you out and show you how.

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