Let’s hope for that early spring

It’s been a while since our last report so I figured it was due time to jump back into it. We have had a funky winter, or the lack of one. It’s been abnormally warm this year with quite a bit of rain off and on keeping the rivers on the higher side, but not blown out. We’re going through a warm spell right now but there is a front pushing through and next week will get cold again.

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Typical weather as of lately.

The fishing has been pretty good depending on which river you fish and/or the weather conditions. The Clinch river has been running water pretty much non-stop but fishing is still good. We’re mainly fishing streamers and nymphs but with high water getting flies in front of the fish is the biggest part, no matter what you throw. Fishing high water can be challenging at times especially if you are just starting out but can be very productive. Whether you’re a beginner or veteran it makes no difference we can work with you and get you on the right track.

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Katie surprised Kyle with a float trip for his birthday. We had a great time.

The Holston has had small windows of zero generation here and there but has mainly been running high for a while which is tough to fish on that river. It shouldn’t be long before they stop the generators and we can get on the great midge fishing that the Holston has to offer in the winter.

The streams in the Smokies have benefitted greatly from this extremely warm winter and water temps and conditions are in good shape. I know the fish are happy about having water temps between the 40’s and 50’s in January. There’s not much hatching right now except for some sporadic black stoneflies and a caddis or two. Nymphs have worked well fished near the bottom and fishing during the heat of the day doesn’t hurt. Mornings and evenings can be a little slow during those cooler nights.

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Brian guides down in Islamorada for 100+ lb tarpon, big bonefish, permit and snook. However when he has time off he loves chasing wild trout in the Smokies with a 2 wt.

We also had the opportunity to join Faith Bible Church in Cincinnati to head back down to the Dominican Republic to work with Freedom International. They have 2 big projects they’re working on and have been for the last 5 years. The first is building a school for the kids living in the nearby villages around Ramon Santana and around the city of San Pedro. Second is building apartments for the missionaries living down there and the teams that come to visit. It’s amazing to see the work that God is doing in the Dominican with such a small team of dedicated people and with the help of various teams coming in to help. Check out what the team is up to at www.itisforfreedom.com.

 

We’re on our way to spring and the thought of dry fly fishing with quill gordons in the Smokies and caddis on the Holston isn’t too far away. Hopefully we’ll see an early spring and a quick start to surface activity. Regardless of the bug activity or the lack thereof, subsurface fishing is the way to go and has kept the lines tight. If you’re thinking of planning a spring trip, give us a call, we have plenty of options to choose from and the weather can be great. Take care and have a blessed day.

 

 

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A taste of Spring

We haven’t had much to talk about as of the last couple of weeks due to some really nasty weather. We have had everything from an ice storm covering the entire area with 2+ inches followed by 6 to 8 inches of snow only to end with a heavy warm rain to melt and flood everything. What can you say other than a normal winter for East TN, which normal for us means abnormal. The good thing is that we are almost out of it all and spring is right around the corner with days full of bugs hatching and fish rising.

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Even bad weather can have it’s upsides, like making incredible views and empty parking lots.

I decided to get out one day after the small “blizzard” hit our area mainly because cabin fever got to a boiling point and second I love fishing in bad conditions, don’t ask me why. Abrams Creek is a great place to fish during the winter because it’s made up of several different springs and the water will usually be warmer. Although there weren’t any bugs hatching, even midges, drifting nymphs along the bottom was a consistent way to catch fish.

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You know you’re in the right spot when the herons won’t give it up.

With Quill Gordons and blue Quills on deck patterns like pheasant tails, hares ears and pats nymphs are great but the bugs are still on the rocks, so get your flies down in front of the fish. One of my favorite patterns for this time of year may be the guides choice hares ear, it’s buggy and fish love it. You can also dead drift the nymph and swing it at the end of the run, kind of the best of both worlds. Make sure to stop by Little River Outfitters on your way to the river to talk with the guys and grab some flies or last minute items.

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The fish are healthy and have great color which is a for sure sign that we’re not far off.

Spring might be the best time of the year to be in the Smokies for the views, wildlife and fishing. We also had conformation that Lynn Camp Prong, which has been closed for a long time has finally been opened back up to fishing making every stream in the Smokies open which hasn’t been that way in 81 years. We’re all very excited about this and owe a huge thanks to the fisheries department of the GSMNP and TU for restoring  this to an all brookie stream again. You can check out the story from our local news station from the WBIR link.

If you are thinking of planing a trip to the Smokies and would like to see them in a different way then give us a call and we’ll show you how we like to see it, from the river. Keep up with our fishing reports and Facebook page for more updates on stream and fishing conditions. Take care and have a wonderful day.

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