Swollen streams = broken dreams

We have seen our fair share of bad weather lately and are just about over it. We can’t complain too much I guess considering how bad folks in the Northeast have had it, but we’re all going crazy and ready to hit the streams. Steady rain over the last week has made every stream in the area high and the ground has become so saturated that the creeks aren’t coming down fast enough. This has resulted in the canceling of several trips lately which is just part of the gig sometimes but it stinks to have to break the bad news to folks looking to get out for the first time of the year.




The Prest couple on their Honeymoon. Has there ever been a better way to spend it?

Some days we’ve had small windows with decent flows to get out and wet a line, so we’ll take what we can get. At least during these trips the fishing has been pretty good with plenty of activity from fish and bugs. Those that have had the chance to get out haven’t had it easy but heck if you can catch them in bad conditions then you’re doing pretty good.  The topwater bite hasn’t become hot and heavy yet but receding water will help with that. Until then nymphs are still catching fish and we’re fine using them. Pheasant tails, hares ears and squirrel nymphs have been producing lately but mainly near the bottom of a deeper run.

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The newlyweds with their first wild trout from the Smokies.

As far as the tailwater fishing is concerned, there’s not much going on in our area. The Clinch and Holston rivers have been blown out and will be so for the next little bit. The weather forecast does predict some nice weather coming so keep an eye out for that along with the flow charts and maybe we’ll catch a break here soon enough. The Holston Caddis hatch isn’t far off and we did see several fish take some before the water was turned on, about a week ago. There should be some good opportunities for some healthy fish on dries once it’s all back to normal.

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Smallmouth season is right around the corner and for those seeking a good streamer bite this will be your chance to let off some steam from the past winter. I love spring smallies for so many reasons (too many to name) but one thing is for sure, those pre-spawn beauties are aggressive and hungry and make for a lot of fun on a fly rod, plus there’s a chance to catch a fish of a lifetime.  We have a lot of fishing options about to open up here in East TN and you won’t want to miss it. If you’re  itching to get out but don’t know exactly where to start, give us a call and we can help you plan your trip. Stay tuned for new updates concerning weather, flows and general activity as we see it. Take care and have a great day.


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Fall fishing at it’s best

We have been spending some time with folks chasing wild trout in the Smokies as of lately. The water is low, cool and the highs have been in the 50’s which might make you think that the fishing is slow. Let me assure you that the fishing hasn’t been slow, if anything it’s right on track for the Fall if not better than usual. This probably has a little bit to do with the fact that the streams haven’t seen that many fishermen over the last few weeks.

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Long casts and wearing natural colors are required while fishing low water.

Low flows concentrate the fish to the relatively deeper riffles and runs which gives you a good idea of lines to fish. This also means a good chance to catch them on dries since the fish aren’t deep. We have started noticing more blue winged olives (BWOs) on the water along with a few sulfurs and some slate drakes. Parachute adams, parachute BWOs and yellow or orange stimulators are all good choices and you’ll probably see a better bite on dries in the afternoon when the sun heats up the water a bit. There’s plenty of food in the water too and nymphs like pheasant tails or hares ears will do the job, but keep some split shot handy.

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Mike scored several nice fish yesterday in the park and all on nymphs.

The leaves are changing and there is a chill in the air, this is the time to be up in the Smokies enjoying one of your favorite activities for the Fall. There are plenty of folks all around the park, but not too many of them are fishing, it’s almost like we have the streams to ourselves.

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For those smallmouth fishermen out there don’t be worried that the nights and mornings are chilly because the water temp is still in the 60’s on the Holston and should be for a little while longer. Andrew and I got a good topwater bite the other day on the Holston and had several nice fish bust a popper. That is strange in the middle of October, but we’ll take it. If you get a day when the sun is out and the temperature is fairly warm the fish will be looking up.

There’s a lot to do in East TN right now and there’s not a more beautiful place to be. If you are coming into the area and are looking to get in some fishing while you’re here then give us a call and we’ll be glad to get you on the water, CONTACT US. Take care and have a blessed day.

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A better looking generation schedule

The generation schedules as of 2 weeks ago were looking pretty bad, but the change in weather and not as much flow coming into the lakes have made the Clinch and Holston fishable again. We have had a few trips on the Holston as of lately and the fishing has been pretty good. We aren’t seeing any caddis hatching so nymph fishing has been the ticket, but after this winter we aren’t about to complain about throwing nymphs.



Cody and Ryan can flat out fish and doubled up several times throughout the day.

It”s cool to see the next generation so into fly fishing and not just trout, but these boys catch smallies, muskie and steelhead (all on fly) up in Michigan. The weather has been nice except for today and it’s supposed to rain all day which will bump up the Little River and its tributaries. If you are planning on fishing the Smokies keep your eye on the water gauge for the Little River which is below. Remember that anything over 2.75 ft or 550 cfs can be tough to fish.


The weather forecast for the next 10 days looks pretty good with temperatures ranging from the mid 60’s to mid 70’s. The fishing is good, the weather is good, if you are thinking of getting away and doing some fishing now would be the time. Give us a call or email us from our “contact us” page http://frontieranglerstn.com/contact-us/ and we would be glad to show you around the streams and rivers of East TN. Take care and have a great day.

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