Guided Trips


Fishing continues to be good to excellent in the Great Smoky Mountains of east Tennessee. Delayed harvest streams are also being stocked and fishing well in east Tennessee and western North Carolina.

In the Smokies, fall bugs are in full swing. We have been seeing blue-winged olives almost daily although they will hatch best on foul weather days. They are small, typically running anywhere from #20-#24 although a few larger ones have also shown up. A few Yellow Quills are still hanging on in the mid to high elevation brook trout water although not for long. October caddis (more properly, great autumn sedges) are hatching in good numbers now on the North Carolina side of the Park and just starting on the Tennessee side. Terrestrials still have a place in your fly box as well although they are definitely winding down for the year. Isonychia nymphs, caddis pupa, and BWO nymphs will get it done for your subsurface fishing. Have some October Caddis (#12) and parachute BWO patterns (#18-#22) for dry flies and you should be set. Brook trout are still eating smaller yellow dry flies as well. Not interested in matching the hatch? Then fish a Pheasant Tail nymph under a #14 Parachute Adams. That rig can catch fish year round in the Smokies.

Brook and brown trout are now moving into the open to spawn. During this time of year, please be extremely cautious about wading through gravel riffles and the tailouts of pools. If you step on the redd (nest), you will crush the eggs that comprise the next generation of fish. Please avoid fishing to actively spawning fish and let them do their thing in peace.

Our tailwaters are still cranking although the Caney is finally starting to come down. I'm hoping to get some type of a report for there soon. Stay tuned for more on that. Fishing will still be slow overall with limited numbers of fish in that particular river unfortunately.

The Clinch is featuring high water as they try to catch up on the fall draw down. All of the recent rainfall set them back in this process but flows are now going up to try and make up some of the time lost. It is still fishing reasonably well on high water although we are holding off for the low water of late fall and early winter as it is one of our favorite times to be on the river.

Smallmouth are about done for the year with the cooler weather we are now experiencing. Our thoughts will be turning to musky soon, however. Once we are done with guide trips for the year, we'll be spending more time chasing these monsters.

In the meantime, we still have a few open dates in November and one or two in October. Feel free to get in touch with me if you are interested in a guided trip. Thanks!

Photo of the Month: Fishing in Paradise

Photo of the Month: Fishing in Paradise

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

First Day on the Job

Yesterday was the first day at my summer job working for Little River Outfitters in Townsend, Tennessee. I’m going to enjoy working there. A lot of my time was spent doing the more mundane tasks of receiving shipments from some of our distributors and getting them out in the store. The most enjoyable part of working there though is being able to talk about something I love doing. I’ve always enjoyed fly fishing, and helping others with fly selection and offering advice on where to fish is about as good as it gets (and did I mention I get paid for this?).

Being able to go fishing in a mountain stream after work for wild trout ain’t bad either… As soon as I got off work I headed up Middle Prong to check out how the fish were doing. The fishing was very good with lots of bugs on the water near sunset. There were little yellow stoneflies both hatching and also out laying eggs. The big news from last evening though is that the large yellow stoneflies are out in force. I’ve never seen that many large bugs flying around at one time. As usual this time of year, just about anything yellow worked well including Neversink Caddis, a parachute Sulphur, and a yellow soft hackle. Because of the large stoneflies out and about, I’ll probably be somewhere up the East Prong this evening chasing some larger fish…wish me luck!

For now it looks like I’ll be working weekdays so stop by and see me…


  1. You got it - I'm wishing you luck, cuz I wanna see some more great photos like that one!

  2. ijsouth1:15 PM

    Great to meet you yesterday...we paid the price by not making it home until 0330...I'm going to have to figure something out to get some more sleep before/during these short trips to the mountains.

    BTW, what is considered "fairly high" up on Lynn Camp? We went up higher than we ever had yesterday during the "fish out", but I suspect that we should have gone a lot further - we would have done better. It's tough, with the girls being such flatlanders...they kept asking when we could stop and fish. We made it as far as a little wooden bridge on the trail, a little ways past where Marks Creek enters the stream.

    We saw some yellow sallies - not a blizzard of them but fairly impressive numbers, on both Cosby and Straight Fork on Saturday and Sunday evening.

  3. Thanks guys!

    Ijsouth, it was great meeting you as well. Hope to see you in the shop again this summer if you can make it up... About Lynn Camp, on that first day of the fish out there were some guys that went WAY up there and they were the first 3-4 to get in so even if you had kept going you would eventually have been fishing "used" water. Honestly, I never go very high before fishing. If you want to get beyond the usual day fisherman, you've got to get up well above Panther Creek... For what its worth, I generally plan on 4 miles on any given park stream to leave 99% of all other day fisherman behind.

  4. That previous comment should read that I never go very high before fishing Lynn Camp. Most other streams I hike awhile...

  5. ijsouth1:48 PM

    Gotcha...I was prompted to ask by a comment Daniel made in the shop - he asked if we had made it as far as the Panther Creek trail. Actually, as I think on things, we really don't have to hike much on most of the streams we fish. You can start catching brookies right out of the parking lot at Cosby, although this last time we did hike a little bit to the higher sections. Straight Fork has road access along a big section of its length, and beyond the road there's no trail.

    It's hard for us to hike much - there's no way for the girls to prepare for it, given that, as I type this, I sit a massive 15ft above sea level. I can do a lot more of that when I'm up there by myself (I usually get up there alone once a year, at Thanksgiving). The first time I fished the park, I went to Cataloochee, and I must have hiked about 10 miles that one day - I hiked far more than I fished.

    Hope to get back up soon...hopefully before the 4th of July weekend. I think we'll hit Road Prong this next trip.



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