Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 3/23/2017
The fishing has been great lately! This spring has been phenomenal in the Smokies. Long hatches have produced dry fly fishing lasting for hours every day. The Caney Fork has been producing some great fish on high water.

In the Great Smoky Mountains, the spring fishing has started early this year. Quill Gordon (#12-#14) and Blue Quill (#16-#18) mayflies are starting to transition into Hendricksons (#12-#14). On foul weather days, the Blue-winged Olives (#18-#22) have literally poured off of the river. The recent cooler weather actually enhanced the dry fly fishing. The bugs have been having a harder time getting off of the water, so despite the cool water temperature, fish have been rising lazily through an extended afternoon hatch. Little Black Caddis (#18-#20) have been hatching well along with some Early Brown Stoneflies (#12).

On the tailwaters, the fishing has been decent to good. The Clinch is fishing well along with the Holston. The Caney Fork continues to be my river of choice, however. Streamer trips continue to produce and we are doing some high water nymphing as well. This is as good a time as any to have a shot at large rainbow and brown trout on this tailwater!

I still have some open dates for guided trips in April and May, but the calendar is filling fast. I've been turning away trips because people wait too long to book. Don't make that mistake!

Photo of the Month: Spring Is For Dry Flies

Photo of the Month: Spring Is For Dry Flies

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ramsey Cascades Near Death Experience


Ramsey Cascades has been on my must-do list of hikes for a long time.  While camping a week and a half ago, I finally made the somewhat strenuous trek to the falls.  Several friends as well as my cousin allowed themselves to be talked into joining me on the hike.  We headed up the trail with the knowledge that we were racing time.  Storms were forecast and we didn't want to get caught out in the weather. 

The hike up was tiring but uneventful.  The cascade was actually much better than I anticipated.  We spent plenty of time relaxing and taking pictures.  I found some nice angles but ultimately the higher water of spring prevented me from getting to all the spots I wanted to take pictures from.  The stream below the cascade was as picturesque as the falls so I was happy to spend time with my camera.








After resting, eating lunch, and filtering some water, we started back down the trail.  The wind was increasing and several trees fell in the woods above us.  One section of trail was completely buried in the rubble of a rotten tree that had fallen minutes before we passed.  The crash reverberated through the forest, making us increasingly nervous.  The size of the tree that fell convinced us that the best thing we could do was to get out of the woods as soon as possible.  After having one member of our party pose in the debris for pictures, we quickly moved on.

Nathan Stanaway Photograph

Shortly after, one of my friends decided to jog ahead.  As we came around a bend, we found her lying in the middle of the trail.  Since she had just posed in the trail for pictures, we figured she was joking.  As we got closer, we started making comments like "nice job," and "comfortable down there?"  Then we noticed the large limb next to hear and someone bent closer and spotted blood on her face.

  Nathan Stanaway Photograph

Nathan Stanaway Photograph

My cousin is a paramedic and immediately went into work mode.  He made a quick assessment, and thankfully she was responsive.  Apparently, she was jogging down the trail when a huge gust broke a limb out of a tree.  All she knows is that she felt a jolting blow to the head and collapsed in the trail.  She was groggy for several minutes and had a headache for days but otherwise seems to be fine.  I made the best of an otherwise bad situation by taking an amusing "guide/client" shot with the limb.  As you can see, it was very large and had to have fallen from at least 30 feet up.  It is really a miracle that she was not hurt any worse.  God was definitely watching out for her.  Finally we helped her to her feet and continued down the trail but at a much slower pace.

  Nathan Stanaway Photograph

Thankfully the worst of the rain held off until we were in camp.  A quick stop for donuts lifted our spirits despite the gloomy weather.  Back in camp we fixed a hot supper and then went to bed...the next day would have more adventures and we needed plenty of rest...

Friday, April 22, 2011

High Water 'Bow

Last weekend in the Smokies was difficult from a "standard" fishing perspective.  The streamers were fun, but Sunday was supposed to be a day to take some friends fishing.  We were hoping to fish dry flies or nymphs so we headed for the West Prong of Little River to find some fishable water.  The West Prong always drains out a little faster since it is a small stream with few feeders. 

We found some pools that were at a perfect level for fishing nymphs.  Everyone tried something a little different, but in the end the fish did not care.  I caught fish on a Tellico and on a Red Copper John.  The last rainbow was a nice sized fish for a Smokies small stream.  It was very acrobatic, putting on quite an airshow.  This 'bow was the perfect end to a nice weekend in the Park. 

Catherine McGrath Photograph

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spring!!!

The dogwoods definitely signal spring here in Tennessee.  Last weekend the trees in the Smokies were in full bloom.  I finally found some overlooking Little River that made a beautiful picture.  The early morning sun was illuminating the forest in the distance...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Streamer Action Hot

Last weekend's high water event in the Smokies brought the browns out to play.  I almost didn't find out until too late, but got in on the streamer action before things returned to normal.  Lots of fish followed my fly and several hit as well.  Only one actually got its mouth around the big Clouser though. 

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Troubled Montana

Apparently special interests have convinced the politicians of Montana to override the wishes of the state's residents.  The state legislature passed a cyanide leach mining bill so now the best we can hope for is the governor to veto the bill.  Tom Chandler over at the Trout Underground is keeping up with the latest developments.  If you read further on his blog there are several other posts referring to the topic.  Educate yourself and then contact the Montana governor via email (email link on the Trout Underground post). 

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Smallmouth Fishing Compromised

Those who enjoy fishing the Little Pigeon in Sevierville and Pigeon Forge for smallies may want to wait awhile before heading to the river.  Apparently there was a major sewage spill upriver at Gatlinburg...guess I won't be targeting smallmouth there anytime soon...

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