Here we are on Easter Sunday already, how the fishing season is flying by. We’ve been busy fishing up in the Smokies, on the Clinch and Holston Rivers and chasing those river smallies all over. The good news is that the fishing is great everywhere and there are some very healthy fish roaming around. The cherry on top is that the weather is fantastic with temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s with low chances of precipitation. How could it get any better.
Smallmouth have been eating well over the last month or so bulking up on calories in preparation for the spawn and now the time has come for them to shine. These boys…..and girls look like fat footballs with linebacker shoulders and a bad attitude looking to hurt anything that comes by. We have been fishing a variety of streamers and crawdad patterns for the most part with the occasional popper when the moods strikes us but they aren’t very picky. TVA has also been giving us great schedules to work around on the tailwaters with minimum flows making it easy to plan trips. Along with the tailwaters we have the option to float the lowland freestone rivers as well which have also been fishing well. Some smallmouth are on the beds right now and others are not far behind so we’re covering a lot of water trying to target fish that aren’t on beds so we don’t bother their routine.
The tailwaters are fishing very well right now for trout as they should with good flows and plenty of bugs moving about. The Sulfurs on the clinch have been sparse but they will come off in numbers soon enough, until then midges and caddis are the main course . Midges and small nymphs have been producing well (surprise, surprise) on long leaders and long casts with a good drift. We’ve been seeing great caddis hatches just about every time we’ve been on the Holston and fish are getting heavy as a result. There are short windows of dry fly fishing during the day with explosive strikes on dries and plenty of action on nymphs when the hatches die off. The low flows and stable weather have been great for the upper Holston.
The fish in the Smokies are looking up as you would imagine they would in April with lots of bugs flying around all day. There are huge March browns, brown stoneflies, yellow sallies and even some early sulfurs and don’t forget about all the fun you can have fishing terrestrials. Water levels are perfect with some Spring showers here and there to keep the water where it needs to be so if you like fishing the mountains, now is the time to be there with your favorite rod and plenty of dries. If you don’t have your own gear than give us a call and we can supply you with everything.
We’ve been busy in March and April and that’s how we like it. There aren’t any days left in April and May only has a few days left open, but we do have a handful of professional guides that work with us that may be able to help out if needed. June, July and August are filling up for peak smallmouth season so if you interested in fishing with us then give us a shout and let us show you a good time on the water, especially if you want to chase one of the best fish in freshwater.
Fishing hasn’t been the only thing keeping us busy however. We have a new addition to our Family and his name is Luke. The Lord has blessed us so much and we’re very happy to be able to share it with everyone. Thank you for reading the fishing report and stay connected for more recent fishing reports. Have a blessed day.
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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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Christmas is a great time of year and probably my favorite because it’s the day we celebrate the birth of our Savior. The pressures of gift buying, family gatherings and traveling can get to you and a getaway for yourself is the best medicine. The weather channel is saying that we’re in store for some pretty decent weather for the next 5 days so it might be a good time to get out and fish.
The generation schedules on the Clinch and Holston are kind of hit or miss but if you can catch a good schedule and you have some time off, take advantage of it because you never know when you’ll see the water off again. The fishing has been good and there are some very nice fish willing to eat a whole variety of flies. Black flies have been thick at times along with midges and a few caddis fluttering around. The great thing is that the fish haven’t been hit too hard so fly selection isn’t as important. Your plain jane pheasant tails and zebra midges under an indicator or dry fly will work just fine.
Sometimes simplifying things can have big results.
The streams in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are something to consider as well. The water is cold and the fish are sluggish but that doesn’t mean they can’t be caught. Getting your flies deep (on the bottom) is a good start, but if that’s not enough start putting on shot until you see your indicator “tick” the bottom. Sure it’s not as fun as watching a fish sip a dry off the surface but at least you’re catching fish. As far as flies go hares ears, prince nymphs and caddis larvae imitations will do the trick. Stop by and talk with the guys at Little River Outfitters, they’ll get you squared away with what you need.
Jayson with a healthy rainbow that took a prince nymph.
Be careful while fishing in frigid temperatures, take some extra clothes along with you and don’t get too far from the car if you don’t have to. Also bring some hand warmers, you wouldn’t believe the moral boost it can be. I’ve fallen in way too many times and have learned this the hard way how miserable it can be. Have fun, be safe and have a very Merry Christmas.
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