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.
FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 3/23/2017
The fishing has been great lately! This spring has been phenomenal in the Smokies. Long hatches have produced dry fly fishing lasting for hours every day. The Caney Fork has been producing some great fish on high water.
In the Great Smoky Mountains, the spring fishing has started early this year. Quill Gordon (#12-#14) and Blue Quill (#16-#18) mayflies are starting to transition into Hendricksons (#12-#14). On foul weather days, the Blue-winged Olives (#18-#22) have literally poured off of the river. The recent cooler weather actually enhanced the dry fly fishing. The bugs have been having a harder time getting off of the water, so despite the cool water temperature, fish have been rising lazily through an extended afternoon hatch. Little Black Caddis (#18-#20) have been hatching well along with some Early Brown Stoneflies (#12).
On the tailwaters, the fishing has been decent to good. The Clinch is fishing well along with the Holston. The Caney Fork continues to be my river of choice, however. Streamer trips continue to produce and we are doing some high water nymphing as well. This is as good a time as any to have a shot at large rainbow and brown trout on this tailwater!
I still have some open dates for guided trips in April and May, but the calendar is filling fast. I've been turning away trips because people wait too long to book. Don't make that mistake!