Fish out of water

We’re finally getting some consistent conditions for this time of year in East TN which means we also get some very inconsistent weather patterns. Warm and sunny for a few days with water temps spiking followed by sharp cold snaps with the potential for snow. That’s how it is here in our part of the world, but it’s what we know and we like it.

Those who have been in the Smoky Mountain National Park lately have already seen some great days on the water with loads of Blue Quills and Quill Gordon’s hatching with some Blue Winged Olives mixed in. Needless to say, when there are this many bugs hatching the dry fly fishing is fantastic even with the quick shifts in weather. March is probably my favorite time to fish and take folks into the Smokies because of the reliable dry fly fishing and a chance of a larger than average fish coming up to eat them. There are also fewer people at this time which allows you to have the place virtually to yourself most days.┬áRemember even if there isn’t a thick hatch going on the fish will still rise to a well presented dry fly.

Unfortunately Alex had a couple big boys come unbuttoned but there were plenty of slabs to go around. Great job buddy.

The tailwaters are in a ball game of their own to boot with numbers of fish coming to hand and some quality fish at that. There has been some dry fly fishing on the tailwaters but mainly nymphs and streamers for the most part. Caddis are sporadic on the Holston but it’s typically an April hatch to start with, so any earlier is always a bonus. The Clinch has been hands down the place to be. Great midge hatches and the occasional spurt of sulphurs given the right conditions. I’ve got to say that it’s hard to beat where we live and we’re semi spoiled with all this great water in our backyard. If you haven’t been to East TN then it’s time to experience it first hand. Give us a call and we can help you see a side of it that most don’t get to see. Take care and have a blessed day.

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Out with the old and in with the new

So it’s no surprise at this point that we have changed the whole layout of the website thanks to our tech guy and friend Corey, that being said we hope you like it and find it easier to use. Lately we’ve been busy with a 4 month old baby, fly fishing shows and getting things ready for the upcoming season (flies, rods, licenses…..etc.). When we do get a free moment and the weather and/or generation somewhat line up we try and get out on the river. During the past week the tail waters have been running high with a few hours here and there of low water. The Holston is running water until 11am tomorrow and after that it’s off for the rest of the day. It will be good to fish as long as you stay on the upper end of the river. Have some black and olive midge patterns in sizes 20-24 (dries and nymphs) handy because the fish could be picky.



Plenty of midges on the water to keep the fish happy.

The Clinch will also be off tomorrow at noon, so those of you who have been staring at the schedule for months will finally be able to get back out. We haven’t been able to get on the Clinch in some time due to the high flows, but I can tell you this, the fish will have some broad shoulders and should be pretty hungry. Hopefully the schedule will look good for the weekend and more fishermen can get out. We will be in Cincinnati on Saturday with a booth setup and look forward to talking with folks about fishing opportunities in our area.

Little River flow chart

As far as the Smokies go there’s really not much to say. The Little River is flowing at 250 cfs and the temperature is hovering around 32 degrees which is pretty darn cold. Unless you want to head over to Cades Cove and fish Abrams Creek it probably wouldn’t be worth the effort to fish other streams in the park. If you decide to go that route, I wouldn’t count on catching numbers of fish but you might catch a few with size to them. Winter is a great time to catch a larger fish in the Smokies.

The weather for the weekend looks great except for Sunday which has a 70% chance of rain, but after this past week we’ll take it. Lets hope the warm weather melts the snow on the mountains and the stream temps rise next week. Heck who knows, we might see some quill gordons in a couple of weeks. We are keeping our fingers crossed for better conditions in the near future.┬áThose of you who will be in the Cincinnati area this weekend come on by the show and hang out for a while and talk about fishing. Take care and have a great day.

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A break in stride

I am sorry for the delay in posts as of lately especially with the closing of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park but we have been busy the past week. I decided that since my wife was pregnant and the due date for our daughter was the first of October that I wouldn’t take anymore trips until after the baby was born. Mainly because I didn’t want to be in the middle of a float or in the Smokies with zero cell service and have it be an inconvenience for the fisherman to have to stop the trip. Well wouldn’t you know it our daughter decided to come early and surprise everybody.


The past week has been awesome and I’ve gotten to spend a lot of time with Danielle Mae and get some things done around the house. That being said we are heading into the busiest part of the year and we’ll be taking trips again starting this week. Unfortunately the Smokies have been closed due to the government shutdown which happens to be the big attraction in the Fall due to the stunning views of the leaves changing and the great fishing. So what is there to do if the National Park is closed?

Well our area is very unique in that we have several rivers full of trout and smallmouth to choose from. The Clinch River can be a great choice in the Fall with bigger browns moving around for the spawn and good hatches of caddis and midges. We got to get out yesterday and float the Clinch and it was pretty darn good early on but once the sun was over head and it got hot we didn’t see very many fish moving around. That will change as the weather gets cooler which we are expecting this week.



A beautiful brookie from the Clinch

The Holston River is another great option for both trout and smallmouth in the Fall with good size holdover rainbows and browns from the Spring. The caddis are there and dry fly fishing can still be pretty good at times, but nymphs are the main producer. The smallmouth are staying focused on baitfish and crawdads with the coming of the cool weather and will be so for a while. Also if we can get a good schedule, the French Broad River is one of our favorites to be on due to the warmer water that it has right now from TVA generating so often. The more they generate the less cool water comes out from the bottom of the dam which delays the end of the fishing season.



Mike is 6’2″ and made his fish look tiny.

If you are still thinking of coming to the Smokies area, there are plenty of campgrounds and hotels to stay in outside of the park and lots of fishing options to choose from. The lower portion of the Little River from Townsend down has been getting stocked by the state and the water is at a good temperature and level to fish it. If you are coming into town and want to get out, give us a call, we have plenty of options to choose from. Take care.


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