High or Low we’re gonna go

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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The awaited season

Fall started off kind of warm this year with days in the 80’s which didn’t quite feel like fall. I know that doesn’t sound like a problem but when the leaves are changing and it’s football season there should be a slight chill in the air. We definitely have one now. Mornings start with temps in the 30’s and 40’s and end in the 60’s and along with us the fish are loving it.

Our smallmouth season is winding down with the arrival of the cool weather but we had a great season that ended with some high notes even with terrible weather. You can bet with the start of fall that there’s gonna be some cold fronts pushing in and some heavy rain along the way. Even with some occasional nasty weather the fishing has been great.

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Dick loves smallmouth fishing more than anyone that I know, rain or shine.

Over the years we’ve fished with folks from all over the world but I think we have a winner for furthest traveled with Ben from Australia. He came here to get his hands on some smallies and he did just that with added bonus points for bad conditions.

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A two hander the first time out. Way to go Ben.

Although we’re sad to see our smallmouth season drift away with the warm weather we have plenty of great days on the Clinch and Holston ahead of us to focus on. The Holston has started cooling off and the fishing has been pretty darn good the last few weeks. No dry flies yet but nymphs and streamers will sure keep things interesting. Dries like caddis and midges will come with the cooler weather. This summer was pretty mild and the water didn’t get too warm to hurt the fishing which has left the fish fat and healthy for the fall and winter.

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Gary and Jim from Ohio did a great job even in bad conditions and muddy water.

The Smokies are definitely the big attraction right now with incredible views which happens with the changing of the leaves. The great fishing is an added bonus to the already beautiful surroundings. Nymphs have been best in the mornings due to the drop in temperatures overnight with dries in the afternoon as the day heats up. October is a great time to be in the Smokies but November is just as good with a lot less pressure for those who are trying to find a nice getaway.

Give us a call if you would like to get out on the water before the cold weather sets in. Don’t forget to stop in at Little River Outfitters while you’re in town for any situation on the water that you might find yourself in, these guys are great and can help you with any and all needs. Take care and have a great day.

 

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Knowing where to go

As the season gets closer and closer I think that “cabin fever” gets worse, especially when we get the tease of 70 degree weather for a couple of days and then back down into freezing weather. We came so close to seeing the Little River hang in the 50’s for a couple of days last week right before the bottom fell out of it and it dropped back down into the high 30’s. This will more than likely delay the quill gordons in the near future but we’ll just have to see.

The good thing is that we are in store for a warmer week with some rain in the mix which can speed up the warming process for the streams in the Smokies. Let’s just hope that they don’t get blown out instead.

WEEKLY FORECAST

We’ve been all over the place (national park, national forest, tailwaters and stocked streams) this past week to see what was fishing the best and most of the rivers were all the same, double nymphs and lots of weight to dredge the bottom. This isn’t as fun as watching a splashy rise but it keeps the fish coming to hand during these cold spells.

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There is one place that continues to fish pretty good most days and that is Abrams Creek. It being spring fed keeps it warmer than most other streams in the park. We’ve still been fishing double nymph rigs most of the time but haven’t had to add much weight since the fish weren’t locked on the bottom.

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A stout rainbow with his spawning colors on.

Most of the fish we caught came on a size 16 prince nymph fished in the riffles. We tried several different flies but the prince did the job so why fix what’s not broken. We did see some black caddis and blue quills hatching but nothing rising to them which isn’t really a surprise since the dry fly fishing is never great on Abrams. At least you know there’s plenty going on below when there are bugs on top.

Most of the fish you can expect to catch in the Smokies range from 6-10 inches with the occasional nice brown mixed in. Although Abrams does have the average size fish it’s not uncommon to catch a nice rainbow every now and again. This is mainly due to more bug life in the creek as a whole.

Abrams is a technical creek with lots of ledges, drop offs and log jams that offer plenty of hiding spots for fish so bring plenty of flies in case you lose a few. It is extremely slick too so be careful wading it and take a wading staff if you have one.  The fact that you have to hike in keeps most of the fishing pressure down and you can bet on not seeing another fisherman all day.

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The kicker to the entire day is the amount of wildlife you’ll encounter along the way.

Hopefully it won’t be too much longer until we can see some consistent dry fly action to report about, but we’ll keep you posted when it arrives. Take care and have a blessed day.

 

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