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

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Teaching Never Stops

As a teacher, having my summers relatively free is a nice bonus.  This does not mean I stop teaching though.  A couple of weekends ago, I went camping with a group of friends near Gunnison.  Fishing was a definite must and one of my friends had been wanting to learn the sport as well.  I told him that I would be glad to teach him so extra rods were packed and the dry fly box was well-stocked in anticipation of finding some brookies.  

The stream was a small one, out of the way, meandering through the willows and over beaver dams.  Some sections were considerably steeper with tight pocket water while others took on the meadow stream nature that I've come to love.  Both brown and brook trout inhabit this stream.  I tied on a streamer to look for the big guys while my buddy John started off with a yellow Neversink Caddis, size 16.  

Since the stream was so small, I knew he would not have to cast very far to catch something.  I gave a short informal lecture on the theory behind fly casting, showed him what he should be doing, then handed him the rod.  His first two casts were slightly errant, but after another quick tip he was throwing the fly right where it needed to go.  A little more advice on what to do when a fish hit, and we started fishing.  

I was catching a few fish here and there when I found a nice open section just above a beaver dam.  The casting area was definitely not as tight and there were fish waiting for a snack as well!  From up above on the trail, I showed John were to fish and how to approach the pool.  Soon he had snuck into position and laid out a nice cast.  A brookie came up to annihilate the dry and the battle was on.  John fought and landed that fish just like a seasoned pro and soon was posing for a picture of his first trout on the fly rod!  

Not to be outdone, I fished my way around some undercut banks and close to log jams hoping for a big brown.  One 14 incher (a really nice fish for this stream) came out but would not commit while my heart nearly burst from the suspense.  Later, I found a willing brown trout in a larger than average run.  A quick picture and I sent it on its way.  

John continued to do well and ended up catching several fish.  His smile showed that he was enjoying this new sport.  I was happy to be back on the water in Colorado after a month away from home and also happy that I still had a few weeks before school started again.  Teaching fly fishing is a lot different from teaching math, but only because it is outside instead of indoors.  There's nothing like being out in nature!!!


  1. There is just something about that first fish on a fly rod grin.

  2. David
    Anytime one can teach someone else to fly fish is a plus. I have taught a couple of guys the last couple years, and both are into fly fishing now in a big way. Thanks for sharing

  3. Nicely done. I really enjoy teaching as well. There is a great sense of doing good!

  4. sometimes, I learn the most from the people I teach. This is a sport that continues to give more and more every year for myself. Tight Lines,

  5. I think most people always remember their fist fish on a fly rod.



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