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

Monday, March 04, 2013

Tie On

My tying activity has taken a decided turn in the busy direction.  Last week I finished an order of Ultra Wire soft hackles for my blogging friend Bill over at the Fishing Through Life blog.  By the end of the week I was starting to really crank out Parachute Adams for my upcoming trip to Tennessee.  Yesterday I reached my goal and feel like I have enough now in sizes #12-#18.  Of course, as a fisherman, I never feel truly ready so I may tie a few more for good measure.

Other flies that came out of the vise yesterday were my bead head Ice Dub caddis pupa, my variation on an RS2 that is killer in the Smokies in early spring, and some bead head Pheasant Tail nymphs.  I even managed tie tie a couple little #24 Krystal Flash Midges that were the secret to my recent Pueblo tailwater success.  There were probably some other patterns that I'm forgetting but progress is being made!!!  Tonight, with any luck, I will tie up some more nymphs and perhaps a few streamers.  The weather is looking marginal at best for my trip so I'll have to have heavy nymph and streamer patterns around in case the water levels are up too high.  Slowly the box is filling up, and of course I already have more flies than I know what to do with.  One way or another I'll get by and hopefully have a few flies left over to use on the trout out here in Colorado.  Still, until I leave for Tennessee, I will tie on in all my spare time!


  1. No better way to pass time constructively during bad weather is to tie up some flies for the trip. Tie On Brother.

  2. David
    Those are fantastic looking flies with some awesome takes in store for you this season. In my opinion one can never have enough flies in their possession. Thanks for sharing

    1. Thanks Bill. I've got high hopes for these flies, but am sure I'll have to tie again after this upcoming trip...

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks! Let's hope they pass the test of the fish...

  4. Replies
    1. I'm sure trying. I was tying up Thin Mints the last two evenings. Really like those flies a lot! Thanks for introducing me to them...



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