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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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.
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.
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.
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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Streams and rivers in East TN continue to stay on the low side despite the steady rain we had last night. This wouldn’t affect the tailwaters much since the lakes are down so far but it would help the freestone streams in the area which need it bad. There are only a couple of rivers that aren’t having problems with low water in the area and they’re running full blast.
We’ve spent the majority of our time chasing smallmouth and now that the spawn is completely over the fish have become hungry and aggressive. Despite the lack of water and the warmer weather the fishing has been pretty good. Smallies are taking topwater but the bite has been better in the mornings before the sun gets high, but once it’s overhead it’s been streamers all the way. David Cummings came into town last week to try his hand at smallies and he started and ended with a bang.
David wanted to learn to fish streamers……well I think he got it.
The Holston, French Broad and Little River are our primary smallmouth rivers to fish this time of year. The French Broad is running high and the Little River is too low which has us running to the Holston which has also been low but not low enough to keep us from having a good time and catching fish. Mandy and her dad were in from Texas and though it was SUPER windy they were able to check smallies off their bucket list.
You can tell they didn’t like it.
June is off to a great start and the topwater bite should only get better from here on out. Even though the rivers are low there’s still plenty of water to keep the fish happy and healthy and looking to eat. With the bite as strong as it is right now you can bet we’ll be on the river as much as possible, storms or no storms. Though we get a good surface bite in June, it’s just the start of it, July and August can be great so don’t miss out on the action. Give us a call if you’d like to get out on the water. Take care and be safe on the water.
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