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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Fall opportunities

It definitely feels like fall with mornings in the 40’s and the highs being around 70. There’s quite a bit of color on the trees and the fishing is fantastic, it’s the best time of year to be in East TN. We still have a bunch of options to choose from wether it be fishing in the smokies or one of our great trout rivers and the smallmouth bite is still great.

The tailwaters have been pretty spectacular as of lately with healthy/beatiful fish that show off a lot of gumption. The bite remains strong throughout the day with the chance for some exceptional fish along the way. The flows have varied from day to day but the fish don’t seem to mind and have no trouble settling right in. TVA has been running water for the majority of the day which allows us to float pretty much every sections of the river; how much water has determined where we’ve gone.

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Sandy and Fields were in the zone.

It’s been great to see some water in the small streams of the Smokies for a change and the fish have been enjoying it as well. There are several decent hatches going on like the October Caddis, Blue Winged Olive and some small stoneflies. The dry fly action is better in the day but nymphs are much better in the morning. There’s some beautiful colors on the trees as well without too many leaves in the water. It’s been just short of perfect here in East TN.

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Ken with some of the Smoky Mountain Gold.

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Thomas picking apart the pockets.

As for those who can’t quite let the smallmouth bite end for the season you’re in luck. We’re still getting a decent topwater bite some days with mostly subsurface activity due to the cool nights. The smallmouth are bulking up before the cold weather sets for good, which gives us one last good run at them. It’s hard to watch our smallmouth season start to slip away but it doesn’t stay down for long.

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Bruce with a brown slab.

If your coming to the Smokies or the surrounding Knoxville area then give us a call, we’d love to get you out on the water for some of the action. Thanks for checking in and hope to see you out there. Take care and have a blessed day.

 

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So much to choose from

April is finally here which means great weather, stable water flows and probably the best month for fly fishing in the Smokies and our local tailwaters. Trout are turning cartwheels over bugs like Quill Gordons, Blue Quills and Early Brown Stones in the Smokies along with caddis and midges getting slurped off the surface on the big rivers.  The Holston River has had pretty regular flows for the last week which will give the fish and bugs a chance to get into a pattern.

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Dave’s first float and he handled it well.

Everything seems to be getting a late start this year due to some late cold fronts that worked there way through the area. The threat of another cold front is nowhere in site with sunny days in the 70’s and very little chances of rain, well we’ll see about that. The dry fly fishing has been so good there’s almost no need to throw a nymph, almost. The mornings are going to be slower for dries due to a lack of bugs but nymphs will still produce. Patience will pay off when things start heating up around lunch time so keep your eyes open for those big wings sticking up on the water.

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With fish going crazy for dries the smiles are from ear to ear.

The water in the Smokies has gotten down to an almost perfect level of 300 cfs, but it’s clear so stay low and wear something to blend into the background. Parachute adams are probably going to be your best bet for fly selection (it’s hard to beat) but you might want to keep some tan elk hair caddis, pheasant tails, hares ears and some prince nymphs on hand. Make sure to keep plenty of floatant with you, those fish like them riding high.

There’s good new for the warm water fishermen who are itching for the season to start, it’s not far off. I got to get out for a run at those smallies for the first time since the water came down and warmed up. I wouldn’t say it’s ready just yet but it is REAL close.

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Felt good to hold one again.

The tails of some of the fish were roughed up which means some spawning action has started taking place but most I found were in somewhat deep water and weren’t very aggressive. The water temp hasn’t been ideal but warm enough to get them moving around for some decent pre-spawn action. It shouldn’t be too much longer until everything gets cranked up and we’re seeing that topwater bite we’ve all been patiently waiting for. There’s a lot of options to choose from right now and if you’re looking to get out on the water GIVE US A CALL and we’ll be glad to show you a good time. Take care and have a great day.

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