For those who have noticed my progress towards being a fly fishing guide, I have some big news. The Commercial Use Authorization permit from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has arrived. That means that I can now accept bookings for guided fly fishing trips in the Great Smoky Mountains. If you are interested in doing a trip with me there, or perhaps even on the Caney Fork or one of the warm water streams of the Cumberland Plateau, head over to Trout Zone Anglers and take a look around. While you're at it, send me a message and let me know about your interest. Dates are already filling so if you want to get on the calendar don't wait too long.
With the cold weather again looming, I anticipate that the spring hatches will be sputtering along until March 6-10 or so when things should really bust wide open. Our best trips for overall numbers will be day trips into the Park's backcountry and those will be prime from late March through the middle of May. If you are willing to hike 2-4 miles (minimum) each way to get to your fish, you will have a shot at the day of your life. By summer, the mid and higher elevations of the Park will be fishing great. Days of throwing dry flies will be the norm at the higher elevations although dry/dropper will get us into more fish.
UPDATE: 9/12/2016 Smokies Fly Fishing Report -- Current Hatches: Isonychias (aka Slate Drake or Mahogany Dun), Mahogany Duns (Paraleptophlebia), Little Yellow Stoneflies, Golden Stoneflies, Tan and Cinnamon Caddis, inch worms, beetles, and ants. Some cooler weather has been helping conditions in the Smokies. Nighttime lows are falling enough to keep the lower elevations close to fishable. Probably give them another week though and then it will be game on. Fish are eating fairly well. Yesterday's Little River Outfitters Day 2 School was successful with all of my students catching fish even with the low water conditions.
Caney Fork Fly Fishing Report: Our floats continue to churn out some really nice trout. See some of the recent blog entries below for more on that. I have some availability if you are looking for a guided trip so contact me about a float or wade trip if you want to enjoy this fishing at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com or call/text (931) 261-1884.
Clinch River Fishing Report: Flows are mostly up so heavy deep nymphing or streamer fishing will be the way to go during periods of generation. Look for fish eating terrestrials along the banks and especially in areas of soft water. On low water, think midges and long fine leaders. Dark seems to be the color although both dark and silver beads are working on the midges. I recommend strike indicators with hooks in them on low water. Last week I caught my best fish on a #14 Yellow Stimulator that was serving as my strike indicator.
Holston River: Give this river a break on the trout sections until next winter. Water temperatures on most of the trout water are elevated and fishing now will stress these beautiful fish.
Cumberland Plateau Fishing Report: Smallmouth bass fishing is good but the water is low. We have another week or two of warmer temperatures before the final turn towards cooler weather begins. Both topwater bugs and subsurface offerings are getting it done. Before we know it, the cooler weather of fall will have us chasing muskie again as well!