Spring TN smallmouth fly fishing

We haven’t even made it through April and what a start to the East Tennessee smallmouth season it has been. We have seen every type of weather that you can imagine from hot and sunny days to freezing temps with snow blowing in 30 mph winds and oh yeah, inches of rain in a single day…. and that’s all in the same week. Some rivers are running high and others are low but we have spent a lot of time on these rivers finding fish and feeding them what they are looking for. We also have drift boats and rafts to effectively fish these waters no matter the water levels.

  

Fishing has been good overall with the exception of major cold fronts with air temps dropping 40 degrees overnight and even then we’re still catching fish.  However, those conditions definitely add challenges. The good news is the warming trends after these cold fronts bring the aggressive bite that those die hards chasing after pre spawn smallmouth are looking for. This is some of the best fishing of the year as bigger fish get aggressive before they spawn.

May is also a great time to target smallmouth as they are usually getting off the beds and looking to put on weight after losing so much during the spawn. This is when things start to get cranked up and the weather can be really nice. May is getting close to being booked up but there are a few spots open if you are still looking to get out on the water and get a tight line. This is not a time you want to miss out on around the Maryville, Knoxville and Smoky Mountains area.

Our best time of year is late spring and through the entire summer. This is the time when TVA stops generating so much water making it easier to plan floats way in advance and smallmouth start settlling down and aren’t moving around so much, making for stable fishing conditions and reliable patterns. Give us a call or email for all your Tennessee Smallmouth needs and we’ll get you on them rain or shine. Also check us out on instagram and facebook for more info. Have a blessed day and stay safe.

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Blazing!

One thing the fishing and the weather have in common is they’re both hot. Some days we’ve seen the air temps in the mid 90’s with the signature high humidity that we’re so accustomed to here in East TN. These weather patterns aren’t normal for June and the spike in temps have brought afternoon thunderstorms some days with small showers to cool things off. We’ve been making sure to stay hydrated and take plenty of breaks when necessary.

On the plus side, the fishing has been fantastic; the water is staying cool from nightly generation and the fish are healthy and have quite a mean streak. Most smallmouth rivers are free flowing and can rise with rain, heat up quick with warm weather and get low with droughts. Several of our rivers are tailwaters which tend to stay cooler during the summer with regular water releases (pulses) during the day keeping water levels/temps more stable with the abnormal conditions.

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Forrest came down from Chicago to find a citation and with hard work, he found it.

We’ve been seeing a decent topwater bite somedays with the occasional nice fish taking poppers, but it’s not been fast and furious. Everybody’s favorite way to catch smallmouth on a fly is definitely with topwater but it’s not always the most productive way. Fishing subsurface flies will always produce more fish and usually better fish due to the lack of energy a fish has to use to get to the fly. Fishing crawdads and baitfish can be very effective especially during the summer months and can keep the lines tight during those hot/sticky days.

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Errol’s first time fly fishing for smallmouth and he knocked it out of the park.

The weather for June has been abnormally hot but despite the fact the fishing has been great. The summer bite is on and when you’re focused on working a popping bug or streamer, you don’t even notice the heat. Hopefully we’ll see some cooler weather here soon and maybe even a little rain along with it. If you’re interested in trying something different or just want to get out and chase your favorite fish give us a call and we’ll get a trip set up for you. Also check us out on Facebook for short updates and conditions. Take care and have a great day.

 

 

 

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So much to choose from

April is finally here which means great weather, stable water flows and probably the best month for fly fishing in the Smokies and our local tailwaters. Trout are turning cartwheels over bugs like Quill Gordons, Blue Quills and Early Brown Stones in the Smokies along with caddis and midges getting slurped off the surface on the big rivers.  The Holston River has had pretty regular flows for the last week which will give the fish and bugs a chance to get into a pattern.

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Dave’s first float and he handled it well.

Everything seems to be getting a late start this year due to some late cold fronts that worked there way through the area. The threat of another cold front is nowhere in site with sunny days in the 70’s and very little chances of rain, well we’ll see about that. The dry fly fishing has been so good there’s almost no need to throw a nymph, almost. The mornings are going to be slower for dries due to a lack of bugs but nymphs will still produce. Patience will pay off when things start heating up around lunch time so keep your eyes open for those big wings sticking up on the water.

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With fish going crazy for dries the smiles are from ear to ear.

The water in the Smokies has gotten down to an almost perfect level of 300 cfs, but it’s clear so stay low and wear something to blend into the background. Parachute adams are probably going to be your best bet for fly selection (it’s hard to beat) but you might want to keep some tan elk hair caddis, pheasant tails, hares ears and some prince nymphs on hand. Make sure to keep plenty of floatant with you, those fish like them riding high.

There’s good new for the warm water fishermen who are itching for the season to start, it’s not far off. I got to get out for a run at those smallies for the first time since the water came down and warmed up. I wouldn’t say it’s ready just yet but it is REAL close.

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Felt good to hold one again.

The tails of some of the fish were roughed up which means some spawning action has started taking place but most I found were in somewhat deep water and weren’t very aggressive. The water temp hasn’t been ideal but warm enough to get them moving around for some decent pre-spawn action. It shouldn’t be too much longer until everything gets cranked up and we’re seeing that topwater bite we’ve all been patiently waiting for. There’s a lot of options to choose from right now and if you’re looking to get out on the water GIVE US A CALL and we’ll be glad to show you a good time. Take care and have a great day.

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