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

Friday, June 20, 2014


Checking tracks is nearly automatic for me at this point.  No matter where I am, tracks are at minimum an interesting curiosity.  On some days, the ability to "read sign" can make the difference between catching a few fish and catching a bunch.

Yesterday, my friend Nathan and I were on a popular stream but far enough from the trailhead that we thought it was at least possible we were on fresh water.  The few small rainbows that did eat our flies had has questioning that premise.  A few indistinct tracks had us both questioning openly whether that section had been fished.  When I found some water drops drying on top of a rock where none could naturally have splashed, I knew someone else had waded through in the last few hours.  Right where the tracks ended, I caught a nice fish.

Further up the stream, before we hit the spot where we would jump out and start our hike back, I found some more tracks.  Fresh ones.  Big ones.  Tracks that had me glancing all around and even up in the trees.  After all, we were no more than a half mile from the scene of my tent fiasco from a few years ago.

Thankfully it wasn't as spooky as finding a half eaten elk carcass in a remote Arizona canyon years ago.  Hiking cross country in lion country will keep a person on their toes.  Last night, we never did run across the bear.  The best excitement (other than catching fish of course) was when we jumped a small group of hogs in the waning light on the hike out.  A couple of them were big, real big.  They also wanted nothing to do with us.  That was just fine by me...


  1. Replies
    1. I was looking over my shoulder for a while after this!

  2. Me and ol' Giddyup would have been long gone.............................

    1. Mel, we didn't linger around for sure...



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