Winter brown fish……well sort of

One thing my dad used to always say is there was never a dull moment in our house growing up as we were always getting into something. That’s what we can say about the weather here in East TN. There’s been every kind of weather you can imagine in the last couple of weeks and this week looks like it’s going to follow suit and not let us down. One day it’s warm and sunny, the next we’re layered up with rain gear. Would I have it any other way……no, because it keeps us on our toes. Plus the fishing is too good to go anywhere else, and lets face it, who notices the weather when you’re catching fish anyway.

Glenn and I got out to chase some winter (if you want to call it that) brown fish this past week to see what we could get into. One thing we noticed right off the bat was that even though we’ve had several warm days, the fish were still pretty lethargic like you’d expect in February, which we figured would be the case. We did however change some things up and get on a slight pattern. Heck, it was just nice to be able to fish in a t-shirt for a change. I went to some of the old favorite spots that we’ve found fish in before for this time of year and though some were reliable others seemed to be barren, which probably means that it’s still early and they will need a little more time. The good thing is we’ve been finding enough fish to make it worth while to justify missing out on a good day fishing for quality trout. Talk about your tough decisions!


The Dr. was in the zone. I cant wait to see what spring will have to offer.

Not many fish live to tell the story of how they fought an eagle and won.

As the weather begins to stabilize and fish settle in to their spring holds the action will speed up and the bite will become more aggressive and you’ll want to be here when it does. For those that can’t wait until then, the fish are there and have to eat so come on over and we’ll try to get that itch scratched. Hang around the fishing report for the next little while, we’ll keep you posted on what we’ve seen. Thanks for reading and give us a call if you coming to the Knoxville, Maryville or Smoky Mountain area, also go check out our buddies at Little River Outfitters for all your fly fishing needs.

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Getting ready for Spring

It has been a pretty mild Winter so far in East TN and though the weather is about to change again and get colder, our minds are already set on Spring. We have been busy tying flies (old and new) and stocking our boxes for Spring. The Quill Gordon hatch will be here before too long and dry fly season will be in full effect for the Smoky Mountains.


We have also been spending some time on the bigger rivers for smallmouth since  the start of December. Winter fishing can be dull at times for any species of fish, espcially smallmouth, but if you’re willing to put in the time and work for them it can pay off. Fishing a lot slower and downsizing your offerings can be a good start. There’s not a lot of food moving around this time of year and the fish can be very lethargic. A fish’s metabolism slows down quite a bit in cold weather and feeding isn’t as important as conserving energy, so the tricky part is knowing where the fish are and seeing the strike.

This guy felt like an ice cube, but check out the colors.

We also decided that a new item was needed for our float trips in 2013. The trolling motor just wasn’t cutting it enough through the flat water stretches so we decided to go a little bigger.

For those of you who have been with us before and know how slack the water can be in certain areas, you’ll be happy to know that we should cut that time in half  now. This means more time in the good water.

We are excited about this coming season and some of the new trips we will be offering (check out the guided trips page). We hope everybody has a great day and thanks for checking in on us. Feel free to call with any questions.

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Some nice tailwater action

We got quite a bit of rain today in East TN and the mountain streams are flowing pretty perfect right now and they are still rising. The weather has been really nice, but we are about to see a cold front come in. I think it will only turn the fishing off for a day or two at the most. BWO’s are a safe bet to throw in sizes 16 and 18 especially since the water is going to be higher. We had a pretty good day on some tan caddis last week and then there are nymphs that always work.

The tailwaters are the big ticket right now. Because they are released from beneath the dam, the water is warmer than the air temp this time of year. This makes the winter fly fishing great on the Holston and Clinch Rivers. With the ideal flows that TVA gives us, you can expect to get plenty of opportunities for wading and floating on both rivers.


The fish on the Clinch seemed to be keyed in on midges and small pheasanttails more than anything. A good number of fish like these were caught all throughout the day. The water can be super clear and using light tippet may help out with those spooky fish. Also, use a lighter rod to protect the tippet.


Tyler spent a lot of time in this position.


The Holston has had pretty good caddis hatches lately and we are having plenty of dry fly action for the most part of the day. Your average fish might be in the 10 to 12 inch range, but there are plenty of them to go around. Some parts of the river seem to hold better than average fish in the 16 to 18 inch range with a shot at some pushing 20+.


This guy sipped an emerger off the surface.

The Holston is not known for it’s brown trout, but there are a few lying around here and there. You can usually tell because they are selective feeders.

Heading down river Ashley was drifting some nymphs through a run and she got a strike, only when she set the hook it didn’t want to come to the surface. We knew what she had on.


Of course I had to throw a streamer and try to get a smallie before the day was over.

Smallmouth fishing in the winter isn’t as productive as the warmer months, but if you’re willing to work for them and the weather is decent it can happen. With Christmas right around the corner and ideas for getting gifts harder to come by, we have something just for you. How about a gift certificate for a guided day of fly fishing for that special outdoor someone. If this seems like something you would like to do as a gift or stocking stuffer, give us a call and we can make it happen. We hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year and if we could make it a little better, we would love it. Click here to like and follow us on facebook for quick updates.











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