Winter brown fish……well sort of

One thing my dad used to always say is there was never a dull moment in our house growing up as we were always getting into something. That’s what we can say about the weather here in East TN. There’s been every kind of weather you can imagine in the last couple of weeks and this week looks like it’s going to follow suit and not let us down. One day it’s warm and sunny, the next we’re layered up with rain gear. Would I have it any other way……no, because it keeps us on our toes. Plus the fishing is too good to go anywhere else, and lets face it, who notices the weather when you’re catching fish anyway.

Glenn and I got out to chase some winter (if you want to call it that) brown fish this past week to see what we could get into. One thing we noticed right off the bat was that even though we’ve had several warm days, the fish were still pretty lethargic like you’d expect in February, which we figured would be the case. We did however change some things up and get on a slight pattern. Heck, it was just nice to be able to fish in a t-shirt for a change. I went to some of the old favorite spots that we’ve found fish in before for this time of year and though some were reliable others seemed to be barren, which probably means that it’s still early and they will need a little more time. The good thing is we’ve been finding enough fish to make it worth while to justify missing out on a good day fishing for quality trout. Talk about your tough decisions!

   

The Dr. was in the zone. I cant wait to see what spring will have to offer.

Not many fish live to tell the story of how they fought an eagle and won.

As the weather begins to stabilize and fish settle in to their spring holds the action will speed up and the bite will become more aggressive and you’ll want to be here when it does. For those that can’t wait until then, the fish are there and have to eat so come on over and we’ll try to get that itch scratched. Hang around the fishing report for the next little while, we’ll keep you posted on what we’ve seen. Thanks for reading and give us a call if you coming to the Knoxville, Maryville or Smoky Mountain area, also go check out our buddies at Little River Outfitters for all your fly fishing needs.

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What to do after the turkey’s gone

First off we hope that everybody had a great Thanksgiving and got to spend some time with family and friends getting  as stuffed as the turkey you ate. We traveled a good bit this past weekend through the Midwest to see Ashley’s side of the family and had our fare share of food, family and football. It was nice to see family and have a few days of doing nothing but it was also nice to be back home.

Of course when you get back home there’s plenty of stuff to do. The first thing I needed to check off the list of things to get done was to get some new tires on the truck.

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As I was at the shop the guy putting on my new tires had noticed that I had busted a rear shock, so I had another project to get done. Of course when I got home I realized they sold me the wrong shocks and had to go back for the right ones.

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Now the plan for the day was to get in a little fishing at some point but with all of the previous projects we only had a few hours to go. We are pretty blessed to live within a few minutes of such great fishing and so many options to choose from. One place we go that is pretty unique is the Lower Little River outside of the Smokies where we do some float trips. TWRA stocks the river with some healthy rainbows in the Fall and Winter and makes for a fun alternative when the streams in the Smokies are cold and the tailwaters are blown out.

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Here is Jules with a nice fish from the Little River

Typical stocked trout flies like wooly buggers, egg patterns and any standard nymph will work for these fish. It’s a very pretty and relaxing float to do and is a lot of fun. It does take a certain amount of water to float the section which usually isn’t a problem in the Winter months. If the water does get too low it can get tough to get a boat through and isn’t worth the effort.

We have been seeing better flows on the Holston and Clinch Rivers due to the lakes being at their Winter levels. We are supposed to get rain off and on starting tomorrow so we’ll have to see what that does to the water levels. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that TVA doesn’t have to run a bunch of water next week and we can spend more time on these rivers, but we’ll just have to see. The good news on the Holston is that the fishing is great and we’re seeing caddis, midges and a couple of different mayflies hatching throughout the day and the fish are looking up to take dries as well as nymphs all day.

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It’s nice to see fish like these sipping dries in December.

The Holston is known for its big feisty rainbows but occasionally you get a brown trout here and there. The nice thing about the Holston is the ability to get out of the boat and wade fish at any of the many shoals on the river. We decided to do just that and Jules caught a fish on the first cast.

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If you are thinking of a nice place to visit for Christmas or New Years with mild Winters and good fishing then look no further than East TN, especially the Townsend area. We will fish through the Winter as long as the weather permits us to so if your looking to get out then give us a call (CONTACT US). Take care and have a great day.

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Hot and Cold

The weather has been a little out of the ordinary as of the past couple of weeks here in East TN and that’s an understatement. One day you’ll have temps in the mid 60’s or even 70’s and the next you need to layer up with winter wear and occasionally get in the car and warm up your feet. What does this do to the fishing though?  Well, going by the past couple of years we typically have a bit of high water this time of year which can make it tough to get flies to the fish. As of lately though the streams in the Smokies are low and slow so it’s not hard to get your nymphs to bump the bottom and get in front of fish.

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This technique worked well for Mark on the Little River with some slab rainbows and even a bonus brown.

The trick with nymph fishing in colder conditions is how much split shot to use in the situation you’re in. If you’re not using enough then the flies aren’t getting in the fish’s vision, but too much and you’ll stay hung up on the bottom which can get costly to your fly budget. So how much weight to use depends on the water temps and how aggressive the fish are that day. Experimenting with flies and weight early on can make all the difference in your day.

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Even though this fish wasn’t big, the moment when this father and son got their first Smoky Mountain trout on a fly was.

We had a fun weekend with a group of dads and their sons from Middle TN fishing in the Smokies. All the kids learned the techniques needed, caught fish and had a great time and more important there was good quality time spent with families. They all did a great job and on a day that was not so easy.

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Karen’s first trout in the GSMNP and one she won’t soon forget.

Karen has been through a lot in the last several years and hasn’t been able to fish as much as she would like too. She’s the type of person that appreciates every moment and never looks back. All she wanted was to spend the day in a pretty place and Lord willing catch a few fish, so what better place than the Smokies to do all this in. She caught more than a few and got some great photos to take back home. We both had a great day and look forward to doing it again soon.

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Yesterday was a wet, nasty day with howling winds and even snow. Jules and I wanted to wet a line no matter what the weather was going to be like. We spotted this guy sitting in a riffle and after changing a few flies got him to eat. Truth be told I think the fish just wanted to be out of that cold water. It was a blessing to spend time with my buddy and catch a great fish. The good thing is that we are going to be getting some nice weather starting Saturday with highs back up in the 70’s. Fishing in November is still good and if you are thinking of coming this way we would be happy to show you around the mountains and/or tailwaters (CONTACT US). Take care and have a great day.

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