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

Monday, May 05, 2014

A Well Spent Sunday

A couple of months ago, my friend David Perry contacted me about helping out with a great cause, Casting for Recovery (CFR).  Put on locally by the Music City Fly Girls, CFR is an opportunity for breast cancer survivors to try out the sport of fly fishing while enjoying a relaxing weekend retreat with others who have experienced breast cancer.  The last day of the event was the on the water day where each of the ladies would be paired with a guide and given the chance to hopefully catch some fish.

Fast forward to yesterday, and I found myself getting up at an unearthly hour to make the drive over to the Duck River below Normandy Dam.  The drive over was mostly uneventful other than the random cop that decided to come out of nowhere and terrorize me for a minute or so by riding my bumper in McMinnville.  After my heart rate came back down to normal and he had pulled off somewhere, I was back to the races, trying to make it to the event site by 8:00 a.m.  At least I would have had a good excuse for speeding if he had pulled me over.

Once I arrived, I was surprised to find out how small this tailwater is.  I'm not sure what I was expecting but this is a small stream compared to other tailwaters I fish.  Small is good though when it comes to putting people on fish who are new to the sport.  Trout were rising to a healthy caddis hatch and the occasional Light Cahill and even a Sulfur or two.  We had a delicious breakfast prepared by the Music City Fly Girls and got a nice CFR hat.

Eventually the ladies showed up and we headed down to the stream to fish.  The lady I was assigned to was pleasant and we quickly hit it off.  Once we got on the water, we covered some basic casting to reinforce what she had learned the previous day and then started working one of my favorite patterns for stocked rainbows through a good looking run.  Only a couple of casts later, she hooked her first fish!  Okay, so it was just a chub of some sort, but we were still glad to see a fish.  Not long after, we started catching trout, and missing trout, and catching some more trout.

She did a great job and finished the morning with close to 10 trout.  Not bad for a first timer on the fly rod!

After the fishing excursion, we headed in for lunch and a short program.  There, the lady I had been working with was the lucky recipient of a CFR fly rod and reel combo! The day couldn't get much better, and by the time I headed home, I was tired, but also happy to have been a part of this great event.  Special thanks go out to David Perry for inviting me to help and the Music City Fly Girls for putting on such a fantastic weekend!!!


  1. Way to go David! My mom is a survivor, and I tried really hard to encourage her to participate in CFR... but she just doesn't get excited about fishing.

    1. Jay, both my mom and my grandma are survivors and I am just blessed to have had a chance to help out with such a great cause. I don't think my mom or grandma would get excited about fishing but the ones who do really seem to enjoy the experience!



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