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

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

March is the Month

I've caught many nice browns over the years.  March and April have been particularly kind to me when it comes to catching big browns in the Smokies.  Here is one really nice brown from Little River from March a couple of years ago.

The best part about this fish?  I didn't actually catch it.  Well, not exactly anyway.  For those that have not read the story, go back a couple of years in time and check out this old blog post.   It is one of the crazier fishing stories I've ever been a participant in.


  1. Cool story, David. The link sent me to the wrong archived blog post... but I figured it out. ;)
    I had an experience last summer hooking a 4" Green Sunfish on a popper and having a 5 lb bass come out of nowhere to try and eat it. It was fun playing that hawg for a few seconds until he realized his meal was putting up too much of a fight and spit it out.

    1. Thanks for the heads up on the link Jay! Hope I've got it fixed. That would be pretty cool to see with bass. I've watched bass busting bait and can only imagine what it would be like if that "bait" was on the end of my line...



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