Dog days are here

August has been fairly cool for the most part and the weather has been nice but then again we’re just at the start of it. We’ve had some rain here and there which has been good for the rivers in the Smoky Mountain National Park and other freestone rivers in the area. Most of the tailwaters like the Holston, Clinch and French Broad rivers aren’t affected much by rain except for the color and maybe a little extra water. There are several big feeder streams on each river that can add some stain to the water and a little bit can be good. That has been the case as of lately with the occasional afternoon shower, but the off color can only help.

As for the fishing side of things the smallmouth bite is still going on strong and depending on the weather and generation schedule we’re still seeing good action with topwater. The subsurface action will always yield more fish but when there’s a chance to catch some on top not many want to pass it up. Some days the fish can get picky and we’ve had to change flies and techniques but for the most part the fish are in the usual late summer groove, it is August after all.

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Love that summer time bronze.

Smallmouth fishing in the summer time is great but not the only thing around. We have several great trout fisheries that fish well through the warmer months. There’s still some bug activity (caddis, sulphurs, etc.) lagging behind which still has the fish looking up. During the heat of the day the fish are a little skittish and nymphs will be a better choice. The hard part is getting a decent generation schedule with low water but you take what you can get and make the best of it.

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Dry flies are hard to beat.

August is a great time to be in East TN and there are plenty of options for every angler to choose from. One great thing about this time of year with school back in session and warm weather is the lack of crowds on the rivers. If you are coming to the area or looking for something out of the ordinary then give us a call and we can arrange a trip for you to see what our area has to offer. Make sure to stop by Little River Outfitters for all of your fly fishing needs and check out their excellent warm water selection. Take care and have a great day.


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All topwater all the time

We have definitely had a great smallmouth season so far and the end is still a ways off. August was great with non-stop topwater action and September is starting off by being a copy cat. The weather has been great and the flows from TVA can’t be beat. The nights are cool and the days are mild. The smallmouth can tell that the season is changing because the are putting a lot of effort in feeding throughout the day and the main course is thread fin shad, crawdads and terrestrials.

Even though the fish are chasing bait along the banks and literally rubbing their noses raw by digging for crawdads, they’re not going to pass up an easy meal like a popper landing on the surface. This is a great time of year to target better than average fish by sight casting to them in the low clear water as they wait to ambush their prey. If you are a trout fisherman and have never experienced this for yourself, it’s as close to throwing a dry at a sipping trout as it gets. It couldn’t happen at a better time too than the heat of summer when the water is warm and low which can make for frustrating days on a trout stream.

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Butch Johnson from Knoxville got to see first hand how exciting it can be.

Butch spends most of his time on the Clinch River where small midges make up the majority of the food source for the fish so throwing bigger streamers and topwater poppers was definitely a big change. Butch handled it well and with a little bit of work on casting and action of the flies he was in the zone. I look forward to fishing with Butch again and great job on some nice fish.

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Alex staying low so he doesn’t spook the fish and the rewards for doing so. Alex and his dad Steve are good people.

The Smokies have also fished great lately with dry flies being all that you need. Adams will do the trick in the morning and terrestrials in the afternoon after the sun is overhead, this is mainly due to the low water. Tossing an adams in the riffles will give you some instant gratification, but most of the larger fish will be in hiding and if you know where to look they will be willing to take a fly that isn’t smacked on the water.



Keep your potatoes peeled for the grey footballs hanging in the trees. We have seen these on the Holston too and they are an eye opener when going in to retrieve a fly from a limb. Losing a fly doesn’t sting as bad as a hornet. Take care, be safe and enjoy the great fishing while it last. Have a blessed day.

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Check one item off the bucket list

Jeff is from Northern Ohio and does a lot of Steelhead fishing. When he called me for a trip, I imagined a trip targeting bigger fish, but that wasn’t the case. Jeff had never caught a wild brook trout and it had been bugging him for a while. The weather was perfect for some dry fly fishing, cloudy and sprinkles here and there.

You can see that wearing natural colors while fishing helps you blend in to the background.

The fish were very active and didn’t hesitate to eat a dry. Brook trout aren’t known for being the pickiest of fish when it comes to fly selection, so concentrate on attractor patterns such as an Adams, Thunderhead or smaller caddis for this time of year. This nice brookie fell for an Adams.

Mission accomplished!

After Jeff got the hang of these Smoky Mountain fish, I really challenged his skills that he learned and put him in some pretty tight areas.

Jeff using the “Bow” cast.

Towards the end of the trip Jeff said he wanted to try and finish out with a solid fish, two casts later he landed this nice rainbow which blew up on his fly. It was funny, because we were pretty high up on the mountain and that is when Jeff catches the biggest fish of the day. This fish had been gorging on bugs and was a fatty.

Awesome job Jeff, I look forward to fishing with you again in the future.




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