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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Fall has definitely arrived

With the arrival of fall we’re seeing cool nights with lows in the 40’s and high’s in the 70’s. The water temps are dropping slowly and you can tell a difference in the fish’s attitude. The Smokies have been fishing well with both dries and nymphs and there have been quite a few bugs flying around throughout the day. One of our favorite hatches in the fall are the Isonychia’s or slate drakes which are size 12 dries and have started popping off in the mountains.

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Is there anything better than kids catching fish?

The tailwaters are having decent flows and the fish have been pretty active despite the warmer than average water for this time of year. It’s not fatally hot but fish don’t need to be played very long or handled too much. I recently helped out Mike Bone on a float trip down the Holston and the fish were fairly aggressive and had good weight to them which was great to see them surviving the summers. There were a few caddis and cahills hatching but midges were in far greater numbers. The fishing on the Holston should be great this fall and winter.

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2 fish in 4 casts with another one breaking off. Bill had it going on.

As for the smallmouth enthusiast the fall bite can be great here in East TN with the smallmouth bulking up before the cold weather sets in. The fish have been very aggressive to say the least and have been taking both topwater and streamers. With some of our tailwaters being smallmouth rivers the water takes longer to cool down, making for a longer than normal season. This changes from year to year but you can usually bank on the bite going strong pretty much through October and sometimes the even the first of November. Every weather channel I have seen says we’re in for a cold winter so we’ll just have to see, but we’ll be out there no matter what.

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Some thick slabs putting an 8 wt to the test.

Seeing someone hook up with a fish is always fun but “doubles” are something you don’t forget especially when both fish are around 18 inches, that’s when things get hairy.

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A thing of beauty.

The fall might just be the best time of year with the leaves changing and the cool air coming in, but it gives us one last good run before the nasty weather hits us leaving only memories until spring. If you want to get out on the water GIVE US A CALL, we’ll be out there anyways so you might as well be with us. Take care and have a blessed day.

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Deep in the dog days

As we hit the warmest part of the summer and most of the kids are back in school and family vacations are wrapped up until fall, we start to see fewer river traffic and fishermen on the water. Most folks don’t want to fish when the humidity is at 100% and air temps aren’t far behind but that hasn’t been the case for this year at all. It’s been a mild summer and the conditions have been just about perfect. The humidity can still be high some days but it’s August, it’s supposed to be humid.

We’ve had just about perfect generation schedules on the tailwaters and the mountain streams have had as good of flows as they’ve seen since the spring due to the regular afternoon showers. Some might be wondering if the topwater bite for smallmouth is over for the summer. Well, the topwater bite has still been good during the low light parts of the day (morning/evening) but fishing streamers has been more effective during the heat of the day. I know that fishing streamers isn’t everyone’s favorite way to fish but it can be deadly with big results if you’re willing to do it.

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After 2 days Matt and Landon had this fly fishing thing figured out.

With the rivers maintaining a consistent flow, fish will stay on a routine schedule and stage in their regular spots for late summer. Low water is great when having to fish streamers because the flies aren’t as heavy and we can swap the sinking lines for floating which are much easier to cast. One of the most exciting things about streamer fishing in clear water is getting to see the strikes and watching everything happen. Longer casts are necessary at times due to the water clarity that comes along with the heat of the summer, but not to worry, we set up our gear with easy casting/fishing in mind.

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The Riggleman’s tearing it up on their father/son trip.

With beautiful weather, great flows and awesome fishing what more could we ask the good Lord for. I think most fishermen consider August to be a dead month because of warm, dry conditions but here in East TN our tailwaters stay cool and those regular afternoon showers keep the fish active and angry. Before you know it we’ll see cool weather with changing leaves and wish we could get back on that summer smallmouth bite. Let us know if you’d like to get in on the action before it’s gone by contacting us HERE.

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The Stancil’s from Maryland scored a couple of honeymoon brutes.

I know I’ve been bad about keeping recent posts up as much as I should but I plan to keep them coming so stay posted to our website or our Facebook page for quick posts. Take care and be safe on the water.

 

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