East Tennessee fly fishing report……for all things that swim.

  1. Needless to say it’s been a while since  we’ve posted a fishing report but we’re going to try and stay on top of it this year, so stayed tuned in. First off, we would like to introduce our newest guide, Gary Troutman, to the team. We added Gary last fall and are excited to have him on the team. This allows us to do more multiple boat floats and wade trips with larger groups.

We are also happy to say that we are now an Orvis endorsed guide service. This happened last summer and are honored to be involved with such a great company. You won’t find gear with more fly fishermen-minded development into their products than Orvis. Not to mention the customer service is top notch. Go check them out at Orvis.com


The Smokies stream’s have been fishing very well with plenty of bugs (Quill Gordon’s, Blue Quills and Brown Stoneflies) hatching. Fish tend to be focused more on nymphs until around lunchtime at which point the hatches start up and fish get close to the surface to feed on them. Here are some photos of some recent trips from up in the park.



The Tailwaters have been running high most of winter and spring due to all of the rain we’ve been getting but we have so many options in our area that we have still been able to get out just about everyday. As for the fishing, with the water being high or low the fish have been eating well and the fishing couldn’t have been better. We’ve fished 400 cfs all the way to 9,000 and though techniques will change with the flow, it has been a good spring and will only continue to get better. Here are photos from recent float trips.



Smallmouth fishing has always been associated with warmer months but here in East Tennessee our rivers warm up a lot quicker than other places. Though cold fronts and heavy rain have played havoc on the river conditions, fishing has been good and we expect to have yet another great year ahead. We have some new stuff going on for 2018 and we will also be able to offer more trips and options as of this summer. We’re excited to announce these options in our future fishing reports.  Here are photos from some recent trips.


Thanks for reading with us and check us out on Facebook and Instagram for more pictures and updates into what going on around us. If you are interested in a trip or have any questions please contact us through our CONTACT US info. Thanks for reading and have a very blessed day.



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Winter’s not so bad…….yet

Well, it’s December in East TN and we’re seeing pretty typical weather patterns for this time of year. The best way to describe it would be “sporadic”. One week we’re in the 20’s to 30’s and it’s hard to keep the ice out of your guides, the next it’s in the 60’s and we’re in a long sleeve T-shirt. The only reliable thing lately has been the fishing in the Smokies and on the Holston River below Cherokee Dam. If the weather is the only thing to complain about then I think we’re doing pretty good.

The water temps in the Smokies streams have dropped some in the last couple of days which can make the fish sluggish, especially in the morning and the need to eat isn’t as important as saving energy. This doesn’t mean they won’t eat it just means it might take a little more work to get them to take your fly. The good thing is the water levels have also come down which makes it easier to get to the fish and the lack of split shot cuts down on some of the work. LITTLE RIVER WATER LEVEL.



This was Joel’s first fish in the Smokies and though it wasn’t a giant it was a big moment for him.

Your best bet for fishing the Smokies is going to be the warmest part of the day from 11:00am to 3:00pm when the water temps have peaked for the day. This has been the most productive time that we’ve seen, plus the fishermen are happier to sleep in. Keep the flies simple with prince nymphs, pheasant tails and some birds nests and try not to go too big. The water is very clear and big flies can turn fish away in tough conditions.

Probably the best thing we have going for us right now is the Holston River. There are plenty of bugs moving around and the fish are happy and healthy. Nymphs are going to be the biggest producers by far, but during the heat of the day hatches of midges, caddis and crane flies will be on the surface giving us a chance to catch rising fish on dries.

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Glenn was having withdrawals from his lack of fishing, but he got his fix.

Pheasant tails, caddis pupa and zebra midges are pretty much all we’ve needed to catch fish as of lately. As the sun gets above head and the fish are most active EHC (tan) and small adams are good choices for surface flies, just make sure to get a drag free drift. Stripping a wolly bugger through the riffles might also get some aggressive strikes from larger than average fish. Apart from the miles of riffles on the Holston it also has it’s share of slow flowing water, some of which can be your best bet for sight casting to actively feeding fish.



You can’t beat sight fishing, especially when the prize is a chunk like this.

Sight fishing is as much fun as it is frustrating sometimes, but in clear flat water it’s neccessary to put the fly directly in front of the fish to get him to eat. If you are blind casting with zero structure to aim for then you can spend hours just practicing your cast. Fishing from a boat gives you the advantage to not only cover water but also adds extra height to see into the water. It’s definitely our favorite way to fish the bigger rivers. Not many places can say the have good fishing in the Winter or even several options to choose from, but if you need to get away and enjoy a quiet weekend and get in some fishing in the process, it’s hard to beat East TN. The mountain towns are quiet and the rates are cheaper.

Let us know if you are getting cabin fever and need to get out on the water, the boxes are filled and we’re ready to go (CONTACT US). Don’t forget about gift certificates for that special outdoorsman as an emergency Christmas gift. Take care and be safe on the water.

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One more fly fisherman on the river

I’ve had the opportunity to fish with Scott several times over the past few years and it’s always a good time. This time Scott brought along his nephew for his first trip in a drift boat. Scott will usually spin fish for whatever will bite on the end of his line but the Clinch had a good schedule and he wanted to try and get a nice fish. After a little pursuation I got Scott to try the fly rod and it didn’t take him long to get the hang of it.




The Clinch has the best looking bows anywhere around.

After spending a few minutes working with Scott on his casting and hook sets he was in the groove of things. This wasn’t the ideal day to learn to fly fish, but he didn’t mind it. Before I knew it Scott was hooked up again.



They have good looking browns too.

The high today was supposed to be in the 50’s with a little bit of wind and as you can see that wasn’t the case at all. It didn’t matter though, we didn’t let the weather get in the way of what we came to do and it certainly didn’t get in the way of us having a good time.

Richie’s no slouch on the river either and with this being his first time on the water in a long time I think he handled himself pretty well. These guys were awesome and I look forward to the next time out with them.



The water was high today with TVA running 1 generator pretty much all day and we really didn’t see any bugs hatching, not even midges. The fish were still feeding pretty good even with the lack of bugs, but you had to get flies deep and around some sort of structure which isn’t really a surprise considering all the water rolling through the river. The river can be a real “brouhaha” for the fish during this time of year with heavy flows and fish spawning and sometimes the fish just don’t want to chase down their meals. Nymphs are a great way to go in the Fall not only for numbers of fish but even size.

If your looking to get out and fish but not sure with the cold weather on it’s way don’t worry, the rivers fish pretty good in the Winter when the water temps drop back to normal at around 50 degrees. If your in the area and want to get out, feel free to give us a call and we would be glad to get you out on the water. Take care and have a great day.


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