Guided Trips


Current fishing conditions in the mountains have been tough although rain overnight has bumped up the levels on Park streams, especially on the Tennessee side. Be careful as lots of leaves are going to be coming down now with brisk northwest winds behind the cold front. That can make fishing challenging. If you do fish, I would suggest fishing dry/dropper with a #14 Orange Stimulator or Orange Elk Hair Caddis up top and a bead head Green Weenie, Isonychia Nymph, or Blue-winged Olive Nymph (#18-#20 bead head Pheasant Tail will suffice here) underneath. Focus on stealth and accurate casts.

If you are flexible in where you fish, I recommend heading for your favorite tailwater to trout fish. Most tailwaters are offering good flows for wade fishermen right now and the fish are hungry. The Hiwassee River has been recently stocked for the delayed harvest and the Caney Fork continues to fish very well on our guide trips. The Watauga, South Holston, and Clinch Rivers should be great as well.

If musky are on your mind like they are for me, then be patient and hope for more rain. The musky streams and rivers are very low right now and we need some water before safely navigating those streams in the larger boats that are preferred.

This is the time of year that brown and brook trout as well as some strains of rainbow trout spawn. On rivers like the Caney Fork, many anglers choose to target these spawning trout. This is unfortunate, especially this year. There are plenty of pre- and post-spawn trout to target if you want to catch big fish. With low water the norm, the Caney Fork actually has a chance at producing some natural recruitment this year barring any unforeseen high water. The same thing applies in the Smokies. Spawning brown and brook trout are extra vulnerable because of the low water and should be allowed to do their thing in peace. The future of these fisheries depends upon conscientious anglers doing the right thing. If you must fish to spawning trout, please use very heavy tippets and quickly land and release all fish caught. If you want to learn how to be successful this time of year without chasing active spawners, please consider booking a guided trip, and I would be glad to teach you how to hunt these large fish.

Photo of the Month: The Colors of a Rainbow

Photo of the Month: The Colors of a Rainbow

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

More Work, Less Fishing

Now that summer is here, it is time to start working hard to make some $$$. Unfortunately, in the short term my trout fishing time will probably suffer because of this. However, it will all balance out as I have my Yellowstone trip to look forward to in August. I will also spend a lot of time tying flies for this trip and making other preparations. A few local streams that contain smallies in addition to some other fish also beg for exploration so I will still be getting out at least some.

So I don't get too bored anytime soon, I recently got some new fly fishing entertainment. Two DVDs on fly fishing and a great book should provide plenty of time to dream about fishing. So far I have really enjoyed the DVD entitled "Small Stream Brook Trout." I recognized some favorite water in the Smokies and it also whet my appetite for some western trout fishing this summer with the great footage from Montana. Check out the Fly Fishing DVDs website for more information on this and other DVDs.

I also recently picked up a copy of So Many Fish, So Little Time by Mark D. Williams. So far it has been nearly impossible to put down. The author does a great job of providing the facts while mixing in interesting fishing stories. I have already found some new places to fish someday. For example, want to know where to go to find brook trout that average between 3 and 4 pounds in a river no less? And did I mention this is in the United States, not Labrador?
Expect a complete review of this book within a few days. I already can tell that even when I've read it all, I will still sit down and spend time day dreaming and planning future fishing trips by looking through its pages.


  1. I hear what your sayin, but we have to just keep on keepen on. There will always be sunsets filled with caddis, cloudy days and beatis, and the boat never stays on the trailer for too long.

    Tight Lines,
    Richard from Wyoming

  2. So true... I will be fishing again for at least a couple of days and there are always weekends. All the work will pay off for me though when I'm out in Yellowstone for three weeks. I don't get the privilege of a trip like that every year so I can afford to put in some long hours at work in exchange for that kind of payoff!!!



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