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

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Back In Felt

I first heard about the change announced by Simms over on Tom Chandler's Trout Underground and have since done some research although specific information is a little hard to come by.  In talking with Byron Begley at Little River Outfitters, it seems that, at least at my local shop, the staff and owners didn't bother complaining to Simms.  The customers that wanted felt simply bought other products while a good number of people opted to give rubber soles a try, and everyone was still satisfied.  On the other hand, at least one customer reported falling multiple times in his newly purchased rubber soled boots.  While my first instinct is to laugh at Simms for such a quick about-face, at the same time I have to respect them for actually listening to the consumer.

My initial reaction to the announcement of the ban was to fire off an email to Simms explaining how crucial felt was here in East Tennessee.  Of course it depends on your fishing and wading style, but for those that fish the Smokies and tailwaters with lots of slick ledges like the Hiwassee, felt is hands down the safest way to stay on your feet.  My most recent pair of wading boots was a pair of Redington boots I got a good deal on.  The main reason they weren't Simms was because I couldn't find any Simms felt sole boots anymore.  I'll be going back to Simms next year or whenever I need to buy a new pair of boots because they fit me better than any other boot I've tried yet, and I'll support a company that is so willing to listen to what their customers want...

When it comes to preventing invasive species, I believe that education is the answer.  Legislating or marketing a specific method or product will not work if the masses don't buy in.  Instead of trying to force the industry in the direction of their choosing, Simms would do well to put their time and dollars into spearheading a collective effort to provide education to anglers and perhaps researching the best methods to clean gear. 

In talking to the good people at Little River Outfitters, I was alerted to another method to clean gear that is used by the Great Smoky Mountains NP fisheries biologists.  I have a few documents, brochures and papers to peruse but will be sharing more on that in a few days...

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