Streams and rivers in East TN continue to stay on the low side despite the steady rain we had last night. This wouldn’t affect the tailwaters much since the lakes are down so far but it would help the freestone streams in the area which need it bad. There are only a couple of rivers that aren’t having problems with low water in the area and they’re running full blast.
We’ve spent the majority of our time chasing smallmouth and now that the spawn is completely over the fish have become hungry and aggressive. Despite the lack of water and the warmer weather the fishing has been pretty good. Smallies are taking topwater but the bite has been better in the mornings before the sun gets high, but once it’s overhead it’s been streamers all the way. David Cummings came into town last week to try his hand at smallies and he started and ended with a bang.
David wanted to learn to fish streamers……well I think he got it.
The Holston, French Broad and Little River are our primary smallmouth rivers to fish this time of year. The French Broad is running high and the Little River is too low which has us running to the Holston which has also been low but not low enough to keep us from having a good time and catching fish. Mandy and her dad were in from Texas and though it was SUPER windy they were able to check smallies off their bucket list.
You can tell they didn’t like it.
June is off to a great start and the topwater bite should only get better from here on out. Even though the rivers are low there’s still plenty of water to keep the fish happy and healthy and looking to eat. With the bite as strong as it is right now you can bet we’ll be on the river as much as possible, storms or no storms. Though we get a good surface bite in June, it’s just the start of it, July and August can be great so don’t miss out on the action. Give us a call if you’d like to get out on the water. Take care and be safe on the water.
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One thing that’s for sure about East TN weather is that nothing is for sure. Last week we were getting days in the 90’s while sporting nice sunburns and catching smallies. One thing is still the same, we are catching smallies, but the weather did turn south for a couple of days which brought in some much needed rain. We just experienced a drop of about 30 degrees in temperature while raining, which did cool the rivers off a bit but starting next week everything should be dry again and the sun will be shining.
The bigger smallmouth rivers in our area are fishing pretty good right now with the exception of the weather, which should push out in a day or two. Dick from VA came down for a few days this week and wanted to get his hands on some brown fish since his local river (James) has been blown out. On the first day we experienced numbers of smaller fish (buck bass) with an occasional appearance from a nice fish. This can be a sign of spawning activity, but we weren’t for sure until we noticed the full moon on the ride back home, which had us both convinced that’s what was going on.
Dick loves them in all shapes and sizes.
On day 2 we experienced pretty similar conditions on a different stretch of water, but with the addition of bad weather moving in it added an extra obstacle. The fish weren’t wanting to move very far for a meal and were tucked into hard to get to spots, so accurate casts and patience was a must. Switching flies and changing techniques to figure out what will “get em” can be tricky, slow and sometimes frustrating but figuring it out is also very rewarding. Dick’s persistence paid off and he got the fish he was looking for.
We should see great weather and fishing this week with some very hungry fish getting off the beds. This is when things pick up and aggressive fish are looking to pick a fight with a fly. If you would like to get out on the water and see for yourself what the fuss is all about GIVE US A CALL and we can set up a trip for you. Also, don’t forget to stop in at Little River Outfitters and talk with the folks there about a good fly selection and recent reports on a variety of streams. On a side note if you have tried to call me in the last couple of days and haven’t gotten through it’s because my phone had a problem but is working now. Be prepared for sudden bad weather this time of year with the possibility of thunderstorms and heavy rain. Be safe and don’t chance it, get on the bank and wait it out if you can’t get to your car. Take care and have a great day.
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People look at this time of year and can only think geez it’s so hot, or the fact that fall is still so far away. To be honest about it, this is our favorite time of year because the smallmouth love the muggy days of summer. These days are known as the dog days and even though it’s in the upper 90’s with 100% humidity, all we can think of is the fact that summer is almost over and the topwater bite will be done before you know it. Our tailwaters have had better generation schedules and the freestone rivers could use a little more water, but the fish don’t seem to mind it. I mean let’s face it, they have to eat. The topwater fishing has been great and the fish are definitely looking up, but there are certain times in the day when you need to switch up you tactics and go under the service. I know it can be a let down when fish stop taking topwater, but you’ll forget all about when one stops your streamer.
I gave up on topwater after an hour one day and switched to a streamer, a few casts later this guy jumped on my line. Don’t get caught in a fly slump. Sometimes I am ready to throw the box in and let them choose and then I grab the dumbest looking thing in my box just to see what happens.
As the water gets a little warmer the fish can change what they feed on and how they want it. They can also sit in different areas where the situation works best for them. I like trying to use lighter colored flies for bright days and even dropping it down a size if the fish aren’t reacting to the fly. Also working it slower can work to your advantage if the fish aren’t active. Just remember that the fishing can change at the drop of a hat so be patient and switch up you techniques to find what works.
Poppers and Stealth Bombers have been the first choice for topwater since you can fish them both a lot of different ways and they have produced fish pretty consistently.
Fishing nonstop in the heat can wear you down after a while so pulling the boat in the shade for some lunch and a cold coke will hit the spot. If food doesn’t do it for you and you need something else, then the front of the driftboat serves as a great recliner.
We ask folks all the time if they fish for smallmouth and we almost always get the same response “yes but only when the trout fishing is slow”. We really enjoy showing people another side of fly fishing and once they see how aggressive these fish are they usually call us later on to talk more about smallies. If you don’t have the motivation to fish for spooky trout give us a call and find out what all the fuss is about.
This can be one of the best times of the year to catch plus sized smallmouth on topwater and we have a lot of hot days ahead of us. We’re sorry for the lack of fishing reports lately, but what little off time we have we try to spend on the water. If you like dry fly fishing for trout, than you’ll love this. Have a great day and be safe with all the thunderstorms that just pop up.
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