Sunscreen and chiller killers

March has been pretty typical so far with drastic weather changes day in and day out. We’ve had temps near 70 and 2 days later, snow blowing sideways. We’ve seen this pattern over and over growing up here so we’re used to it. However, there is good news to report concerning the weather. The extended forecast is predicting that most of next week is going to be in the 60’s with lows in the 40’s.

Though the fish in the Smokies can be affected by the shifting weather patterns somewhat, the tailwater fish seem to keep on chugging along in full stride. That’s what is great about our part of the country. There are so many options to choose from giving us plan b, c and d.


Lee with some chunky boys from the Clinch on a warmer day, both streamers and nymphs.

Kyle had a different day for his first time with a fly rod, but the results were the same. His face got stuck like this and not because of the sub-freezing temps.

The fishing overall has been fantastic despite the weather and to top it off we are seeing plenty of bugs on the water. Midges are most plentiful and fish will always take one, however the sulfurs have been coming on stronger every day and on occasion fish have been rising to them. I’m hoping to see a lot more of this in the next few weeks with the increase of stable flows from TVA.

The Holston has had windows of minimum flows on the weekends which is a great sign for what’s around the corner. Days with fish heads coming up and sipping caddis off the surface aren’t far off, you definitely don’t want to miss that. In the mean time we’ll “settle” for some first class fishing on the Clinch. GIVE US A CALL to get out on the river. Have a blessed day.

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The heat is on

With the arrival of May comes warm weather, low flows and plenty of hungry fish. We’ve been experiencing days in the mid 80’s with mostly sunny skies which has been nice for a change. This sudden swing in weather and ideal water levels mixed with thick hatches have turned up the fishing to 11. This is the time we’ve been waiting for.

TVA has kept the generators turned off for some time now and this has warmed up the rivers quite a bit, especially the smallmouth waters. The recent spike in water temps has the fish on the prowl and looking to bulk up. Some of the fish have finished their spawn and others are just now getting on the beds but we expect them to be done in the next couple of weeks. The post spawned fish are aggressive and with the lack of food they are looking to make up for lost protein.


Gary with a citation and his biggest of the year, but there’s still a lot of the year left.

On certain occasions we’ve actually seen a decent topwater bite which we have taken advantage of but streamers and crawdad patterns have definitely gotten more love most days. The water right now is gin clear which is perfect for sight fishing especially for those loners sitting in the shallows. If May is this good then June and July should be fantastic.

The trout sections of the Holston River in Knoxville, TN have also been on fire with the annual caddis hatch under way. Tan and olive caddis in #16’s are hovering around and have the fish jumping for joy…literally. The late coming of the hatch means good numbers of bugs on the water but that could result in an abrupt ending so don’t hesitate if you’ve been thinking about getting in on the action.

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Dave and Doug with a couple of slabs.

Things have been busy lately with the nice weather and great fishing and there’s no place we’d rather be right now then on the river while the fish are biting. If you’re thinking of coming to East TN or the Great Smoky Mountains National Park then GIVE US A CALL so we can get you in on a relaxing day on the river. You can also check out our FACEBOOK page for short updates and photos from recent trips. Thanks for dropping in and reading the report, take care and have a great day.

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Swollen streams = broken dreams

We have seen our fair share of bad weather lately and are just about over it. We can’t complain too much I guess considering how bad folks in the Northeast have had it, but we’re all going crazy and ready to hit the streams. Steady rain over the last week has made every stream in the area high and the ground has become so saturated that the creeks aren’t coming down fast enough. This has resulted in the canceling of several trips lately which is just part of the gig sometimes but it stinks to have to break the bad news to folks looking to get out for the first time of the year.




The Prest couple on their Honeymoon. Has there ever been a better way to spend it?

Some days we’ve had small windows with decent flows to get out and wet a line, so we’ll take what we can get. At least during these trips the fishing has been pretty good with plenty of activity from fish and bugs. Those that have had the chance to get out haven’t had it easy but heck if you can catch them in bad conditions then you’re doing pretty good.  The topwater bite hasn’t become hot and heavy yet but receding water will help with that. Until then nymphs are still catching fish and we’re fine using them. Pheasant tails, hares ears and squirrel nymphs have been producing lately but mainly near the bottom of a deeper run.

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The newlyweds with their first wild trout from the Smokies.

As far as the tailwater fishing is concerned, there’s not much going on in our area. The Clinch and Holston rivers have been blown out and will be so for the next little bit. The weather forecast does predict some nice weather coming so keep an eye out for that along with the flow charts and maybe we’ll catch a break here soon enough. The Holston Caddis hatch isn’t far off and we did see several fish take some before the water was turned on, about a week ago. There should be some good opportunities for some healthy fish on dries once it’s all back to normal.

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Smallmouth season is right around the corner and for those seeking a good streamer bite this will be your chance to let off some steam from the past winter. I love spring smallies for so many reasons (too many to name) but one thing is for sure, those pre-spawn beauties are aggressive and hungry and make for a lot of fun on a fly rod, plus there’s a chance to catch a fish of a lifetime.  We have a lot of fishing options about to open up here in East TN and you won’t want to miss it. If you’re  itching to get out but don’t know exactly where to start, give us a call and we can help you plan your trip. Stay tuned for new updates concerning weather, flows and general activity as we see it. Take care and have a great day.


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