Guided Trips


Things have changed a lot since the last report. Unseasonably warm weather has kicked off the first hatches of the year in the Great Smoky Mountains while an extremely wet February means all of the tailwaters are blown out across middle and east Tennessee.

If you want to fish in the Smokies, nymphs and streamers will be your best bet unless you encounter a hatch. In that case, Blue Quills and Quill Gordons should be in your arsenal as well as Blue-winged Olives.

For now, just forget about the tailwaters in the short term. continued rain means it will be at least another month before the tailwaters are fishable again. With luck, we can start thinking about some streamer float trips on the Caney Fork in mid to late March, although that may be optimistic. In the meantime, head for the mountains and enjoy chasing the wild trout there.

Photo of the Month: Breaking Cabin Fever

Photo of the Month: Breaking Cabin Fever

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Of Seasons and Psychology

Our most recent poll asked you which season was your favorite for fishing. Surprisingly, the majority of voters picked fall. Now I'll admit, fall is my personal favorite but every time I see this discussion come up, most people would vote for spring with its consistent hatches and the first reliable action after the cold winter months.

When I first picked the topic for this poll, I fully expected to see spring come through as the winner. Past experience on the water tells me that more people are fishing in the spring than in the fall. After a lot of thought, I decided the issue might revolve around the complexities of the human mind. I know I have at least a marginal tendency towards the following: the best season for fishing is whichever one is right around the corner.

Thus it makes sense that everyone is excited about fishing in the fall. I distinctly remember this subject appearing on several forums such as the LRO Board last spring. More properly, I should say early last spring when the first hatches were just about to take off. Everyone had been stuck inside all winter (at least the lazy folk...) and most people were sure that spring was the best time to fish. Now that we have a secondary "peak" in productive fishing coming up, people are turning their thoughts and minds towards the opportunities of fall such as large aggressive brown trout. Indeed, some of my best browns caught in the Smokies were taken in the September-November time frame.

Of course, it is also entirely possible that the majority of people that took the time to vote really do think fall is the best time of year for fishing. Regardless, it appears that a lot of fisherman are looking forward to the fall season.

For those interested in the final statistics, the poll was broken down by the following:

Spring - 27%
Summer - 6%
Fall - 66%
Winter - No one....

I guess I know when I'll be fishing to avoid the crowds...


  1. I think Fall's better because there are far fewer people on the river. The bugs are smaller, the water's lower and clearer, and the fishing's tougher.

    The yahoos are gone.

    It's definitely the best time of the year.

  2. ijsouth11:34 PM

    From my personal standpoint, Fall has always been my favorite fishing season. It is when I caught my first really big bass. It is the time of year when I've limited out on speckled trout in the marsh. Around here, the day after Thanksgiving is the busiest day for marina operators; it's usually great fishing, and also you have duck hunters heading out to their blinds.

    We're planning on heading up to the mountains the third weekend in October; I'll show the kids our little slice of the Smokies I bought in the Cosby area, and hopefully we'll be able to hit Straight Fork again.

  3. Well put TC...especially the fact that the yahoos are gone...

    Ijsouth, glad you'll be able to make it up to the Smokies in October. That time of year can be magical. I'll be up there myself that weekend so maybe we'll run into each other...

  4. ijsouth11:19 PM

    That weekend works out perfectly for us, or almost anyway; my two youngest have a bye week in soccer, and Tennessee is playing Bama, but in Tuscaloosa. The only wild card is the weather - btw, there's a chance of something organized developing in the gulf this weekend - there will be a lot of rain down here, at any rate.



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