Depending on the day and time we head to the river TVA could give us any number of generation combinations. Most weekends the Clinch River and Holston River have had low flows allowing most wade fishermen opportunities to get some time on the river. Between the two rivers the Clinch has had the upper hand as far as a strong bite and reliability. During the weekdays however, the Clinch has been running consistently high, alternating between 1 and 2 generators all day from 1,500-4,500 cfs. This much water isn’t safe to wade but is great to float which has been perfect for covering more productive water by putting quantity and quality of fish in the boat.
Some think having bananas on the boat is bad luck, but regardless of what anyone thinks Jay and Rana weren’t buying into it.
Nymphs have been the main producers as of late which isn’t a surprise. What is surprising is that with high water like we’ve experienced for the last month we haven’t had to go very deep to get to the action. In fact some of the action is right below the surface or even on top. We have been seeing a few sulfurs flying around the Clinch which is pretty early but with the unusually warm spring we’ve had (except for this week) the bugs are getting off to an early start. Though the site of early sulfurs makes us feel all warm inside, the numbers of midges can be down right impressive and fish seem to be leaning towards them for the time being.
Though it’s not quite time for them, they are a sight for soar eyes.
I have a feeling that this Spring is going to be one you don’t want to miss with what we’ve seen so far. We’re all anxious to see what the Holston River has to offer and as soon as TVA decides to shut the water off you can bet we’ll be on it. Keep a look out for a Holston fishing report soon. If you’re coming to the Knoxville or Maryville area or decide to take a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, GIVE US A CALL and let us show you a day on one of our quality trout or smallmouth rivers. Don’t forget to stop by and see the guys at Little River Outfitters for all you fly fishing needs. Take care and have a blessed day.
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So my in-laws came into town this weekend for some long over due family time and it was great. My father-in-law Steve is always on the go and loves to fish, but never has the time to. So we decided to go float for some smallies. Steve is from Idaho and has never been in a drift boat and we laughed because he had to come all the way to Tennessee to do it. Now this is his 3rd time fly fishing ever, so after knocking the rust off the rod we were in motion. It was a big transition for Steve, because I have only taken him trout fishing, so the flies and rods we used were all bigger and had to be fished differently. He caught on pretty quick.
Throughout the day the fishing got better and the fish got bigger, not to mention that it was all on topwater. Poppers and terrestrials are still our go to flies.
Now Steve went through some rough shoulder surgery last year and these fish fight really hard. After a few hours of catching these bruisers, he had to take a break, but not for to long.
After a long day on the water and in the sun we landed 2 more nice fish and called it a day. The float was a lot of fun and I’m glad that I got to spend it with family. Looking forward to doing it again.
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Yesterday was Tyler’s birthday and his one wish was to go float for smallies. That is usually my birthday wish too and every other day. The fishing was really good and again it was all topwater. With the heat really picking up, the fish are getting weary when they come up to the fly. If you see a fish looking at your popper just let it rest with maybe a subtle twitch (not pop). Also spend time in the shade and be patient. Just because you can’t see anything underneath your fly doesn’t mean he isn’t there. Tyler saw this technique first hand and realized how effective it can be for quality fish.
Cicadas are all over our rivers and every once and a while when they are struggling to fly it means they are about to die and they will fall in the water. We have a cicada that we came up with this year that make a good plop. Well we ran across some fish that would follow a fly then turn off so I plopped the cicada in the water and he didn’t think twice about it (whamo).
I mean what could be better than dead drifting big bugs in front of smallmouth and watching a big one sip it. It wasn’t long before we were back to the popper. Remember that in the day topwater flies should be lighter colors and darker colors in the morning and evening. We were about to wrap up the day when I saw one more fish and made a cast, this fish was one to test your patience because he looked at it for a while.
If you still haven’t experienced this type of fishing I highly suggest it. Our state is the smallmouth capital and we are located right in the heart of it so give us a call if you are looking for a good time with some hard fighting fish.
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