Guided Trips


Current fishing conditions in the mountains have been tough although rain overnight has bumped up the levels on Park streams, especially on the Tennessee side. Be careful as lots of leaves are going to be coming down now with brisk northwest winds behind the cold front. That can make fishing challenging. If you do fish, I would suggest fishing dry/dropper with a #14 Orange Stimulator or Orange Elk Hair Caddis up top and a bead head Green Weenie, Isonychia Nymph, or Blue-winged Olive Nymph (#18-#20 bead head Pheasant Tail will suffice here) underneath. Focus on stealth and accurate casts.

If you are flexible in where you fish, I recommend heading for your favorite tailwater to trout fish. Most tailwaters are offering good flows for wade fishermen right now and the fish are hungry. The Hiwassee River has been recently stocked for the delayed harvest and the Caney Fork continues to fish very well on our guide trips. The Watauga, South Holston, and Clinch Rivers should be great as well.

If musky are on your mind like they are for me, then be patient and hope for more rain. The musky streams and rivers are very low right now and we need some water before safely navigating those streams in the larger boats that are preferred.

This is the time of year that brown and brook trout as well as some strains of rainbow trout spawn. On rivers like the Caney Fork, many anglers choose to target these spawning trout. This is unfortunate, especially this year. There are plenty of pre- and post-spawn trout to target if you want to catch big fish. With low water the norm, the Caney Fork actually has a chance at producing some natural recruitment this year barring any unforeseen high water. The same thing applies in the Smokies. Spawning brown and brook trout are extra vulnerable because of the low water and should be allowed to do their thing in peace. The future of these fisheries depends upon conscientious anglers doing the right thing. If you must fish to spawning trout, please use very heavy tippets and quickly land and release all fish caught. If you want to learn how to be successful this time of year without chasing active spawners, please consider booking a guided trip, and I would be glad to teach you how to hunt these large fish.

Photo of the Month: The Colors of a Rainbow

Photo of the Month: The Colors of a Rainbow

Friday, February 24, 2012

Coyotes Taking Over!!!

In this hilarious article, TWRA nemesis Frank Niceley accused TWRA of stocking coyotes to try and control the Tennessee deer herd.  Apparently the TWRA assistant executive director thought it was a joke.  The response was classic:

"Actually, we sent some officers over to Arkansas and gave them swimming lessons," he said. "After we taught them, coyotes could swim over the Mississippi River."

I'm always thoroughly amused at people who want huge populations of game species without any natural predators.  Coyotes don't eat many deer to begin with, focusing mostly on much smaller prey.  The extent some people will go to further their agenda is downright laughable.  I'm just glad that Mr. Niceley was shown to be uninformed. Take a moment to read the article for your morning laugh, especially if you are from Tennessee.


  1. Saw that article yesterday. It is laughable. What is most disturbing is that these same misinformed leaders are the ones making our legislative decisions. What other things are they misinformed or ignorant about?

  2. This guy is such a buffoon. Hope he gets booted before he gains a foothold. I agree with Jay's comment. The people running this country use hearsay as the basis for so many arguments, and no evidence to support it. Not many logical thinkers are running this country anymore. I think it is because they can make so much more money in the private sector, it has allowed these career politicians to overtake our government.



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