Yesterday was Tyler’s birthday and his one wish was to go float for smallies. That is usually my birthday wish too and every other day. The fishing was really good and again it was all topwater. With the heat really picking up, the fish are getting weary when they come up to the fly. If you see a fish looking at your popper just let it rest with maybe a subtle twitch (not pop). Also spend time in the shade and be patient. Just because you can’t see anything underneath your fly doesn’t mean he isn’t there. Tyler saw this technique first hand and realized how effective it can be for quality fish.
Cicadas are all over our rivers and every once and a while when they are struggling to fly it means they are about to die and they will fall in the water. We have a cicada that we came up with this year that make a good plop. Well we ran across some fish that would follow a fly then turn off so I plopped the cicada in the water and he didn’t think twice about it (whamo).
I mean what could be better than dead drifting big bugs in front of smallmouth and watching a big one sip it. It wasn’t long before we were back to the popper. Remember that in the day topwater flies should be lighter colors and darker colors in the morning and evening. We were about to wrap up the day when I saw one more fish and made a cast, this fish was one to test your patience because he looked at it for a while.
If you still haven’t experienced this type of fishing I highly suggest it. Our state is the smallmouth capital and we are located right in the heart of it so give us a call if you are looking for a good time with some hard fighting fish.
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So in between guided trips we like to get out and fish for ourselves, but that is a given. When we go, we usually end up chasing smallies either on foot or by drifter. It’s safe to say that smallmouth might be our favorite fish to catch on fly, especially this time of year. It also gives us a break from seeing trout day in and day out. Most every river in our area has smallmouth and they aren’t picky about flies. Minnows, crawdads and noisy topwater is just about all you need.
These are just some of the fish we have caught lately on our float trips. Float trips are a way to cover a lot of water and a nice way to spend the day. We float both tailwaters and freestone rivers, just watch the generation schedules and water levels after a good rain.
If you just want to get out and fish without the hassle of a boat, then there is plenty of wade fishing opportunities around in the National Park and through Blount County and Sevierville and the fish are just as eager to eat. If you haven’t tried smallmouth fishing I highly suggest giving it a shot, but be careful because it can be addictive.
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It’s unusual to get a Saturday off in this business, especially during fishing season and summer break, but we seemed to make the best of it. Ashley and I don’t get to fish together much, so it was nice to have a care free saturday to float for, you guessed it, SMALLMOUTH. The weather was great, the water temp and flow were perfect and the fish were fired up.
We caught most of our fish on streamers and missed quite a few on topwater. Clousers always work well in a variety of colors and sizes,but don’t forget about crawdads. It seems that most of the smallmouth we catch have claws deep in the throats. Ashley was getting in some rowing and I was explaining what run to take, when I looked at my fly and noticed a nice fish mouthing it, but I missed him. It was a great day and it was really nice to see Ashley landing some nice smallmouth, like the one in the photo.
Every bit of water around us is fishing great, the National Park is incredible in the morning and evening and floating for trout and smallmouth on our tailwaters has been really good. We have also been hearing Cicadas in the Smokies so keep some on you just in case. Don’t let the heat shy you away from fishing, we just work around it and alter our days. Call or email us for one of these trips and don’t let the summer pass you by. I hope that you have a blessed day and catch a few fish, but be careful in the heat.
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