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

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Yellowstone Days 4 and 5

I finally found a little time to add another short post about Yellowstone. The first of these two days was spent on the Lamar and upper Soda Butte. The next day was for fishing the Yellowstone River and it was quite memorable.

When I woke up and looked out of my tent on day 4, I saw two fawns and two does grazing quietly through our campsite. It was a treat to have these animals coming so close and I snapped a few quick pictures. One of the fawns gave me the opportunity for this shot as he peered at my with curiosity.

We decided to give the canyon section of the Lamar a shot and accordingly scrambled down to the river from the road above. When we got there, we started out using big dries which seemed like a solid bet. Strangely, the fish just weren't looking up at all. I soon switched over to some nymphs and started catching a few fish but nothing particularly noteworthy. I had on one decent fish that would have been nice to land but it through my flies. Here in the canyon section we were catching mainly cuttbows along with a few cutts.

The afternoon provided another opportunity to check out upper Soda Butte during the afternoon closures on lower elevation streams. Once again, it provided us with some great moments and nice fish.

The next day would prove to be much more memorable. We had decided to hike in at Tower Falls and fish upriver from there on the advice of a couple guys from Bud Lilly's Trout Shop that camped next to us. This turned out to be an excellent bit of advice but things developed slowly. Once again, upon arriving streamside, we started out throwing large dries such as chernobyl style flies and big stimulators. We were rising a few fish but felt that things could be much better. Finally, even though I really wanted to fish dries, I put on a double nymph rig and a couple of indicators about 4-5 feet above. This proved to be the ticket with a beadhead PT and a small black simi seal leech both doing well. Now, hardly a drift went by without getting a strike. All the fish were solid cutthroat in the 10-16 inch range that fought well in the powerful current of the mighty Yellowstone. Finally, we had to quit fishing as the afternoon closure approached but I'll be back to fish this section, hopefully during the salmonfly hatch next time.

On the hike out, we saw many bones, at least some were probably from kills made by the park's large predators. This large elk skull and antlers would have made a great souvenir if it was legal to keep such things...


  1. ijsouth11:11 PM

    The trip reports are awesome...since my entire trout fishing experience has been on fairly small streams in tight quarters, I don't know how I'd react to those wide open spaces. I'm kind of geared now to dress up in camoflage and max out my casts at 20ft.

  2. Great article and some good photos with it to. Maybe one day this spring we can get together and go after a few bass in the creek at Lascassas where I grew up.

  3. ijsouth, it is definitely a different ballgame on the wide-open rivers. The challenge makes it worthwhile and the shot at larger fish than I catch in the Smokies is nice too. If you can ever tear yourself away from the Park on your trips up here, you should check out one of the tailwaters. It isn't the park but provides a nice alternative especially in the heat of the summer or the coldest months of the winter... If you ever need someone to show you some bigger water, feel free to contact me...

    Deerslayer, that would be a lot of fun. Definitely contact me if you want to fish sometime next spring... I've been wanting to get into fishing local streams for bass but haven't done much more than fishing Daddy's Creek out in Catoosa... Still lots of fun!

  4. ijsouth10:21 PM

    I sure will...perhaps if I can get up there on a solo trip next year for a few days. I'm kind of reluctant to bring the kids to a tailwater, for obvious safety reasons.

    In the meantime, I have a wonderful 9wt saltwater outfit, and the boat sits in the driveway...haven't been out in it once this year. I keep meaning to, but I have to make a few repairs on it, and there never seems to be the time. Perhaps after this next trip to the mountains in a few weeks.



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