Fish out of water

We’re finally getting some consistent conditions for this time of year in East TN which means we also get some very inconsistent weather patterns. Warm and sunny for a few days with water temps spiking followed by sharp cold snaps with the potential for snow. That’s how it is here in our part of the world, but it’s what we know and we like it.

Those who have been in the Smoky Mountain National Park lately have already seen some great days on the water with loads of Blue Quills and Quill Gordon’s hatching with some Blue Winged Olives mixed in. Needless to say, when there are this many bugs hatching the dry fly fishing is fantastic even with the quick shifts in weather. March is probably my favorite time to fish and take folks into the Smokies because of the reliable dry fly fishing and a chance of a larger than average fish coming up to eat them. There are also fewer people at this time which allows you to have the place virtually to yourself most days. Remember even if there isn’t a thick hatch going on the fish will still rise to a well presented dry fly.

Unfortunately Alex had a couple big boys come unbuttoned but there were plenty of slabs to go around. Great job buddy.

The tailwaters are in a ball game of their own to boot with numbers of fish coming to hand and some quality fish at that. There has been some dry fly fishing on the tailwaters but mainly nymphs and streamers for the most part. Caddis are sporadic on the Holston but it’s typically an April hatch to start with, so any earlier is always a bonus. The Clinch has been hands down the place to be. Great midge hatches and the occasional spurt of sulphurs given the right conditions. I’ve got to say that it’s hard to beat where we live and we’re semi spoiled with all this great water in our backyard. If you haven’t been to East TN then it’s time to experience it first hand. Give us a call and we can help you see a side of it that most don’t get to see. Take care and have a blessed day.

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Top notch dry fly fishing

Fishing in the Smokies has picked up big time and although we are having erratic water levels daily, the air and water temps are good which has a plethora of bugs hatching. The main event has been the Yellow Sally Stonefly which has the fish busting anything yellow on the surface. The fish seem to be focused on the sallies pretty much all day but keep some light Cahills in the fly box for a sporadic evening hatch.

SAM_0250

It didn’t take Steve long to figure things out.

We have tried to target smaller streams when the water has been high because the bigger streams are tough to wade and lets face it wading around in a small creek brings out the kid in everyone. The Little River in the park should fall out within the next couple of days and fishing will be back to normal as long as we don’t get more rain.

SAM_0253

Fishing a shaded bank with a bushy dry.

The Holston and French Broad Rivers have been extremely high for the most part and there have been very few windows open for floating. That should change in the next few days and we will be back to chasing smallmouth. We did get a short window a couple of days ago on the Holston and Mike got to show off his skills with a fly for some smallies. Mike has spent some time fishing for Pike in Canada, but this was the first time going after brown fish. I think this world has one more junkie.

SAM_0248

I think he’s hooked

It pays to have a plan b, but lately we’ve needed a plan c and d too. After this weekend the weather should be nice and stay that way for a while. May and June are a great time to be in East TN, especially Townsend. If you are in town and looking to stock up on a few things then stop by Little River Outfitters and talk with those guys, they’ll have all you need. Take care and have a great day.

 

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From redfish to Smoky Mountain trout

David is a redfisherman from Georgia but wanted to try his luck at trout. Going from an 8 wt to a 3 wt isn’t easy, but it didn’t take David long to get the hang of it. After getting used to the surroundings and seeing how fast the fish strike, we tried to get a grand slam (rainbow, brown and brook trout).

rainbow                                                                                brook

We didn’t get a brown in the net, but we did have several rise to our fly. We spotted some browns sitting in a slow run later in the day and David wanted to take a shot at them. He was very stealthy and made a great cast that landed perfectly and the fish exploded on it, but didn’t get his lips on the hook. I was really proud of david though for giving it a good try.

We had a great trip, caught a lot of fish and now David is that much better at fly fishing, not to mention hooked on Smoky Mountain trout. Whether you are fly fishing for trout, redfish or anything else you will always learn more about the sport by venturing out and experiencing new areas and techniques.

The fish were very active and looking up for bugs on top. We threw terrestrials for the most part and they seemed to like it, but the water was low and clear so we had to stay low and use light tippet. Even if you fish in the mornings fish the shady areas as well and be prepared to see fish lightly take a bug and not give you a splashy rise. I hope these tips help your fishing and always stay hydrated during these hot days.

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