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.
Here we are on Easter Sunday already, how the fishing season is flying by. We’ve been busy fishing up in the Smokies, on the Clinch and Holston Rivers and chasing those river smallies all over. The good news is that the fishing is great everywhere and there are some very healthy fish roaming around. The cherry on top is that the weather is fantastic with temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s with low chances of precipitation. How could it get any better.
Smallmouth have been eating well over the last month or so bulking up on calories in preparation for the spawn and now the time has come for them to shine. These boys…..and girls look like fat footballs with linebacker shoulders and a bad attitude looking to hurt anything that comes by. We have been fishing a variety of streamers and crawdad patterns for the most part with the occasional popper when the moods strikes us but they aren’t very picky. TVA has also been giving us great schedules to work around on the tailwaters with minimum flows making it easy to plan trips. Along with the tailwaters we have the option to float the lowland freestone rivers as well which have also been fishing well. Some smallmouth are on the beds right now and others are not far behind so we’re covering a lot of water trying to target fish that aren’t on beds so we don’t bother their routine.
The tailwaters are fishing very well right now for trout as they should with good flows and plenty of bugs moving about. The Sulfurs on the clinch have been sparse but they will come off in numbers soon enough, until then midges and caddis are the main course . Midges and small nymphs have been producing well (surprise, surprise) on long leaders and long casts with a good drift. We’ve been seeing great caddis hatches just about every time we’ve been on the Holston and fish are getting heavy as a result. There are short windows of dry fly fishing during the day with explosive strikes on dries and plenty of action on nymphs when the hatches die off. The low flows and stable weather have been great for the upper Holston.
The fish in the Smokies are looking up as you would imagine they would in April with lots of bugs flying around all day. There are huge March browns, brown stoneflies, yellow sallies and even some early sulfurs and don’t forget about all the fun you can have fishing terrestrials. Water levels are perfect with some Spring showers here and there to keep the water where it needs to be so if you like fishing the mountains, now is the time to be there with your favorite rod and plenty of dries. If you don’t have your own gear than give us a call and we can supply you with everything.
We’ve been busy in March and April and that’s how we like it. There aren’t any days left in April and May only has a few days left open, but we do have a handful of professional guides that work with us that may be able to help out if needed. June, July and August are filling up for peak smallmouth season so if you interested in fishing with us then give us a shout and let us show you a good time on the water, especially if you want to chase one of the best fish in freshwater.
Fishing hasn’t been the only thing keeping us busy however. We have a new addition to our Family and his name is Luke. The Lord has blessed us so much and we’re very happy to be able to share it with everyone. Thank you for reading the fishing report and stay connected for more recent fishing reports. Have a blessed day.
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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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