It definitely feels like Fall in the mornings and the evenings as of the last few days. The highs during the day have been in the mid 70’s and the lows at night in the 50’s. The drop in the air temperature has the water getting cooler every day and it’s put the trout in the Smokies in a good mood.
Zack and Tim made their first trip to the Smokies a success.
We noticed #12 Slate Drakes (Isonychia’s) flying around today in small numbers and even the sporadic October Caddis. That is a for sure sign of fall fly fishing in the Smokies. We fished #16 yellow stimulators and #14 parachute adams and caught fish throughout the day. The water in the Little River spiked at close to 500 cfs a few days ago and is back down to 150 cfs or 1.75 ft. This is great for fishing dry flies, so if you are thinking of coming to the Smokies for a getaway then now would be a good time.
Stay low and fish the pocket water and seems. Tim giving a perfect example.
The Holston and French Broad tailwaters have been running generators during the day and shutting off at night and if you know where to look and stay ahead of the generation there are options to choose from. The Clinch has been off all day in continuance of the weir dam construction and running water all night. This can make the fish very finicky because of the low clear water with no pulses in between.
Early fall fishing is some of the best of the year.
Popping bugs are still bringing fish to the surface and on several occasions some chunky fish at that. There have been days when the topwater action will slow down for a little bit and taking flies to the fish did the trick. Hopping crawdads along the bottom is easy and can take up the slack during a slow period. The fish are gorging in between high generation and taking advantage of low water. We are still getting enough low water during the day to get a full day of fishing in. I hope you get the chance to visit our area while the weather and fishing are exceptional. If you want to spend a day on the water then give us a call and we will make it happen CONTACT US. Take care and have a blessed day.
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We are having some really nice weather here in East TN and the random summer shower here and there has kept the water levels up in all of our rivers which also makes them a little off color. Yep, the conditions couldn’t be any better. The smallmouth are very aggressive and feeding on a plethora of things, mainly baitfish and crawdads with the occasional terrestrial falling off the bank.
Here were a couple of nice fish from a float trip the other day. Both Rufus and Mike are on the board of TU, but have a soft spot for smallies.
In the heat of the summer when the water is usually clear and warm the fish can be a little fickle. If you are experiencing a day like this then change up your strategy. The fish will come up to eat something off the surface, but unless you have what they want it’s best to take the flies to them. Smallmouth have a reputation for being explosive and for the most part that’s right, but during the muggy August days, fish the flies slower and get them to the bottom.
My buddy Tim and I ran into a day like this yesterday and had to switch up our tactics a little.
Fishing for smallies is great right now especially when the weather is in the mid to high 80’s, which is crazy for August. If you aren’t jazzed about fishing this time of year because of the heat, then give these dudes a chance, it might change your way of thinking.
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People look at this time of year and can only think geez it’s so hot, or the fact that fall is still so far away. To be honest about it, this is our favorite time of year because the smallmouth love the muggy days of summer. These days are known as the dog days and even though it’s in the upper 90’s with 100% humidity, all we can think of is the fact that summer is almost over and the topwater bite will be done before you know it. Our tailwaters have had better generation schedules and the freestone rivers could use a little more water, but the fish don’t seem to mind it. I mean let’s face it, they have to eat. The topwater fishing has been great and the fish are definitely looking up, but there are certain times in the day when you need to switch up you tactics and go under the service. I know it can be a let down when fish stop taking topwater, but you’ll forget all about when one stops your streamer.
I gave up on topwater after an hour one day and switched to a streamer, a few casts later this guy jumped on my line. Don’t get caught in a fly slump. Sometimes I am ready to throw the box in and let them choose and then I grab the dumbest looking thing in my box just to see what happens.
As the water gets a little warmer the fish can change what they feed on and how they want it. They can also sit in different areas where the situation works best for them. I like trying to use lighter colored flies for bright days and even dropping it down a size if the fish aren’t reacting to the fly. Also working it slower can work to your advantage if the fish aren’t active. Just remember that the fishing can change at the drop of a hat so be patient and switch up you techniques to find what works.
Poppers and Stealth Bombers have been the first choice for topwater since you can fish them both a lot of different ways and they have produced fish pretty consistently.
Fishing nonstop in the heat can wear you down after a while so pulling the boat in the shade for some lunch and a cold coke will hit the spot. If food doesn’t do it for you and you need something else, then the front of the driftboat serves as a great recliner.
We ask folks all the time if they fish for smallmouth and we almost always get the same response “yes but only when the trout fishing is slow”. We really enjoy showing people another side of fly fishing and once they see how aggressive these fish are they usually call us later on to talk more about smallies. If you don’t have the motivation to fish for spooky trout give us a call and find out what all the fuss is about.
This can be one of the best times of the year to catch plus sized smallmouth on topwater and we have a lot of hot days ahead of us. We’re sorry for the lack of fishing reports lately, but what little off time we have we try to spend on the water. If you like dry fly fishing for trout, than you’ll love this. Have a great day and be safe with all the thunderstorms that just pop up.
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