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

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cataloochee: Part 1

The trip to Big Creek was actually more of a break on my trip to Cataloochee.  Of course, I had planned it in such a way that I got to Big Creek early in the day.  Exploring new water is frustrating when you are limited to just an hour or two so I kept the whole day wide open.  By mid afternoon, the thought of getting camp set up before dark had me back on the road.

Driving from Big Creek to Cataloochee is always an adventure.  These gravel roads seemingly go on and on indefinitely.  Then, just about the time you are wondering if you will ever get there, you start noticing some familiar landmarks.  As it turned out, I not only made it there in time to set up camp before dark, I also had enough daylight left to catch some fish.

There is one pool in particular that I love to fish, mostly because it is easy to access and can be fished effectively without putting on any wading gear.  Never mind exactly where because I would rather not have others fishing there.  Selfish I know.

I still had a large orange October Caddis pattern tied on and stuck with that.  Why change when a fly has been catching so many fish right?  Starting out about halfway up the pool, I started covering the water carefully.  The fish were there, I was sure of that, but for some reason or another, I wasn't even getting any looks.  By the time I started casting in the fast water at the head of the run, I had lost a considerable amount of hope for this spot, but then on the 2nd cast to the fast water there was a subtle swirl and the fly disappeared.

When I set the hook, chaos ensued.  These chunky rainbows were both larger and stronger than I expected.  Soon after catching the first, I caught another, and then another.  All from the same little seam at the head of the pool.  That spot was good for 5 nice rainbows in a matter of maybe 7 or 8 minutes.  As soon as the action died down I quit for the day.  I was already feeling a little greedy after pulling enough trout out that the nearby tourists were taking notice and figured that it would be better to just let the other fish take the rest of the day off.

Back at camp, I got some supper together and settled in for a relaxing evening, not realizing that some strange things were about to happen...

Don't forget to sign up for the Trout Zone newsletter. You can do so using the form below.  Your email address will only be used to send out the newsletter which will contain fishing reports, tips and tricks, photography, and occasional special offers and giveaways.

Newsletter Signup

* indicates required


  1. You're right, when those onlookers start getting nosy, time to jet.

    1. Mark, my favorites are the fishermen who crowd in close thinking that it must be the spot. I generally just move on and keep catching fish...



Subscribe to the Trout Zone Anglers Newsletter!

* indicates required