The rain continues to fall sporadically here in East TN and the Smoky Mountain area. The Holston below Cherokee has started to generate a lot of water with no breaks and is a little colored right now. Hopefully it won’t last long. The French Broad has a slightly better schedule, but is a little chilly due to the generation at night so streamers are the way to go (baitfish, crawdads, etc.)
Greg with a two-hander
The freestone rivers coming out of the Smokies have had better flows this Spring and have been a little warmer. As of right now though they are flowing high and muddy and will be for the next few days. As you can see from the picture the rain clouds were thick and the bottom was ready to drop out. Even with the water high and clouds over head the fish are still feeding, heck they don’t have a choice. By this time of year we are focusing more time on the big rivers having great topwater action and we have seen some already and we don’t expect that to change. This Spring has been delayed but with days reaching the 90’s for the rest of the week I would say that we are real close. Have a great day.
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Smallmouth fishing in East TN has been great this spring and it’s only going to get better. All of our rivers have had great flows and the temperature’s (air and water) are just right for topwater. We have fished the tailwaters, freestone rivers and even creeks in the Smokies. Topwater works best in the mornings and evenings and various streamers throughout the day.
Patrick learned to fly fish in the Smokies for trout and wanted to expand his horizons and try something new. The smile says it all.
Patrick’s first time with the big rods and showing off a solid fish, way to go Patrick.
Mickey has fished his fare share of streamers and craw patterns before, but wanted to learn how to fish topwater. Not long into the trip he got the hang of it and shortly after that he caught his biggest smallie to date.
Mickey getting the hang of it.
Mickey’s biggest smallie and on topwater 21″.
One afternoon this week I had some free time and Jayson got off of work early, so we thought it would be a good idea to throw the raft into the Little River and try out Jayson’s new 8 wt. The fish were real aggressive and gave Jayson plenty of action on the new rod.
Jayson cut his teeth in the park, but is rapidly becoming a smallmouth junkie. Jayson also had one on that would have put him in the 20 inch club, but just came unbuttoned after a couple of jumps.
Heck even the lower streams in the park have been fishing great for smallmouth. The cool thing about these streams is getting to throw terrestrials for them.
This guy surprised me by slamming a streamer though.
Being in the driftboat and raft a lot lately has given us some pretty good tan lines and since Chaco sandals are the best thing to wear while being in and out of the water, I thought that some of you guys would appreciate this picture. IF YOU DON’T LIKE LOOKING AT FEET THEN DON’T SCROLL DOWN.
Thanks for getting on and reading with us today and we hope that you would give us a call and let us take you out for a day of fishing for the brutes. Take care.
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Joan is from Ohio and Pennsylvania and now will be living in East TN. She is a good trout fisherman, but has never tried fly fishing for smallmouth and wanted to learn, so that’s exactly what we did. It was also her birthday present to herself. Now this time of year the smallmouth act a lot like trout sitting in slow riffles and sipping poppers out of the bubble lines, so Joan was used to that aspect of it. It took some getting used to throwing the heavier gear, but it paid off when she stuck her first fish. Unfortunately the fish jumped and we lost it, but not a minute later she caught this guy.
The water is a little low in the park and in the Little River so using the popper aggressively won’t do very well. Instead, make it plop on the water and just give it subtle twitches every once and a while. Also don’t let a smallmouth fool you, just when you think you need to make another cast just wait and let the fly drift through the entire run. If one does come to it and sits underneath, give it a twitch. This is what has been working the best for us.
I had to get a shot of Joan fishing in the riffles to show how beautiful the Smokies are. We messed with one about 16 or 17 inches for about 5 minutes, but he would just stare at it and bump it. Which brings me to say that a good fisherman always know when to move on. Be safe while fishing and bring lots of water and maybe a snack and watch out for snakes. If you see Joan on the stream stop and say hi, she is a pretty cool lady.
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