Guided Trips


Fishing is good in the Smokies and other mountain streams if you can catch it on a day where the wind is minimal. Otherwise, expect lots of leaves in the water for the next few days. Delayed harvest streams are also being stocked and fishing well in east Tennessee and western North Carolina.

In the Smokies, fall bugs are in full swing. We have been seeing blue-winged olives almost daily although they will hatch best on foul weather days. They are small, typically running anywhere from #20-#24 although a few larger ones have also shown up. A few October Caddis are still around as well. Terrestrials are close to being done for the year although we are still seeing a few bees and hornets near the stream. Isonychia nymphs, caddis pupa, and BWO nymphs will get it done for your subsurface fishing. Have some October Caddis (#12) and parachute BWO patterns (#18-#22) for dry flies and you should be set. Not interested in matching the hatch? Then fish a Pheasant Tail nymph under a #14 Parachute Adams. That rig can catch fish year round in the Smokies.

Brook and brown trout are now moving into the open to spawn. During this time of year, please be extremely cautious about wading through gravel riffles and the tailouts of pools. If you step on the redd (nest), you will crush the eggs that comprise the next generation of fish. Please avoid fishing to actively spawning fish and let them do their thing in peace.

Our tailwaters are still cranking although the Caney is finally starting to come down. I'm still hoping to get a firsthand report on the Caney Fork soon although it might be sometime next week or the week after before that happens at the earliest. Stay tuned for more on that. Fishing will still be slow overall with limited numbers of fish in that particular river unfortunately.

The Clinch is featuring high water as they try to catch up on the fall draw down. All of the recent rainfall set them back in this process but flows are now going up to try and make up some of the time lost. It is still fishing reasonably well on high water although we prefer the low water of late fall and early winter as it is one of our favorite times to be on the river.

Smallmouth are about done for the year with the cooler weather we are now experiencing. I caught a few yesterday on the Tennessee River while fishing with guide Rob Fightmaster, but overall the best bite is all but over. Our thoughts will be turning to musky soon, however. Once we are done with guide trips for the year, we'll be spending more time chasing these monsters.

In the meantime, we still have a few open dates in November. Feel free to get in touch with me if you are interested in a guided trip. Thanks!

Photo of the Month: Fishing in Paradise

Photo of the Month: Fishing in Paradise

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Chasing Smallmouth

As the Plateau streams drop and clear, the smallmouth action is heating up with the weather.  Low clear water means spooky fish but if you are willing to throw topwater bugs (who am I kidding, who wouldn't want to throw topwater bugs) then you can get onto some nice fish.  Recently I made it back out to one of my favorite new streams that I've started to explore.

The bass were eating well once we tied on the topwater stuff.  

The overall size was pretty decent on top as well although I saw a few monsters that spooked well before I ever got a cast on them.  Those are the fish that keep me coming back though.  The stream was beautiful and at a good level for throwing the topwater bugs.  

I'll be heading back soon to sample some more of the bronze fish...

If you are interested in a guided wade trip in some of the rugged Plateau creeks, please contact me at or check out my good site,  


  1. Always envious, David. Too bad you are guiding so far from where I live....................

    1. Mel, with a little luck I may end up a little closer again someday. When I do, we need to get together and fish!

  2. That's some great looking water!

    1. Thanks! I'm pretty blessed to have such great water close by.

  3. I still have a hard time believing that you can catch bass in rivers...and trouty looking rivers to boot. Nice. I'm with Mel.

    1. Howard, bass in the rivers was one thing I missed while out in CO. Right about the time I started hearing about some local possibilities the floods showed up. If there actually were bass I'll bet they are in Nebraska now.



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