It’s topwater time in Tennessee

If you ever wake up early and get all of your stuff ready to go fishing, but don’t know what to throw, go outside and look at your bumper, or as we like to call it, the hatch chart. It will tell you all you need to know (colors, sizes, etc.).


The park has been fishing great with several hatches coming off and fish rising to them. The main hatch is still the Yellow Sallies with a few Golden Stones and Cahills mixed in. If you see lots of bugs flying around and not much happening on top of the water use the Joe Grobarek philosophy, if all else fails throw the adams. Also don’t forget about the terrestrials. Most folks think that it has to be summer before you throw terrestrials, but if they are out crawling around I guarantee that the fish won’t refuse one hitting the water.

We have been spending most of our time lately on the lower rivers fishing for smallies. We’ve seen plenty of topwater action during the day, but streamers have put more fish in the boat. The spawn should be over with shortly and the bigger fish will be hungry and looking for anything that swims, crawls or floats.


Dave and Chris helping us break in our new Sage VXP rods.

Everyone has one of those stories where the big one got away, but I can verify Chris’. He stuck a pig and after a few second it came out of the water only to show us how big he was and to throw the fly right back at us. Chris if you are reading this, I feel for you. After a much needed break to clear his head we were back to fishing and it wasn’t long before they were doubled up and Chris had forgotten all about it.

Check out the size of that Redeye.

When we got to the end of the float they said that it would be cool to catch a few trout, so we rigged up the 5 wts, put on some nymphs and it within a few minutes they were both hooked up.

Dave with a nice Holston bow.

Chris stuck another pig, only this time it was a big bow and with one jump we saw the line curling back and watch it land in the boat . At that point we just laughed and decided to call it a day. These guys were great fisherman and even better company, but the best part about taking a father/son trip is listening to all the trash talk on the ride home.

Dale is from Nashville and has done a good bit of bass fishing and has done some fly fishing, but hasn’t done them both at the same time. It didn’t take ole Dale to long to put both together and start catching some fish. In fact I think it was like the 5th cast and he was hooked up.

Not a trophy, but he hit a popper like he was.

Fishing poppers takes a little time to learn and involves a lot of patience. In fact you really have to believe that what you are throwing is going to work. Sometimes the fish aren’t turned on and they are very selective, but they seem to always be enticed by a topwater fly if presented right. After a short lunch break we switched to streamers and Dale really started working the river. He caught several more and lost some nice ones, but it happens. We had a great day and Dale really seemed to catch on to fly fishing.



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