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

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Be Prepared

One of the most important lessons any fisherman can learn is to always be prepared.  As a fly fisherman, it is easy to take this to the extreme.  This is why we have boxes and boxes of flies that we rarely if ever fish, instead opting for the same old Parachute Adams or Yellow Stimulator.  Of course, when you are always prepared, you can effectively fish any hatch that comes your way.

I've had to learn this lesson the hard way more and more than once I might add.  On a recent float with David Perry, I showed up prepared to toss streamers the whole way.  On the spur of the moment I tossed a 5 weight in the boat just in case.  Of course, when we found fish rising to midges I remembered that my midge box was back in the car.  Oops.  One good thing did come of this trip.  At some point we rigged that 5 weight up with a bead head nymph and one of those pinch on indicators. Then, at the end of the day, I just kept the whole thing rigged and ready.

Well, I fished that rig a few times over the last week or so.  I caught some panfish at Cumberland Mountain State Park, and a nice big delayed harvest rainbow on the Tellico.  All of this was done in between the episodes of high water.

Fast forward to yesterday.  I'm heading down to Chattanooga for a few hours and as I'm driving along, I remembered reading something about a delayed harvest stream right along my route! Can things get any better?  Well, yes and that is where being prepared comes in.  I had that rod still rigged and ready to go.  It didn't take me too long to figure out that I should probably just stop and do a quick investigation.

Fifteen minutes later, I had landed 3-4 rainbow trout and was back on the road after one of the better detours I've ever taken while out driving.  Never even got my feet wet either.  That rod is still in my car.  In fact, I'm contemplating a trip over to Cumberland Mountain State Park again this afternoon and if I make it over there, it is always better to be prepared.  Of course, I might end up just taking the camera for a walk which is great as well, but if I see trout rising, I guarantee I'll be ready.


  1. Now you have me thinking David. I travel light with a Vedavoo Sling Pack, but have a large bag in my car with things that I bring along just in case. Why do I always need something from the when I'm a mile away?

    1. Howard, I think traveling light has many benefits including less wear and tear on your body. I switched to a hip pack many years ago and my shoulders and back have been thanking me ever since. Of course, I sometimes leave things in my car as well and have to go back and get them. The worst time was when I realized I had left my wading boots at home after driving 30 minutes. That was a long detour on the way to the stream...

  2. Sometimes you read a post, take it all in, and move on to your next adventure. However, in this case, this is such an important piece of advice that this post should have a "Headline" label stuck to it, somehow. Thanks a bunch for making this ol' Geezer take another look before he sets off on another trip.

    1. Mel, glad you found this useful. I have a mental checklist that I always run through before every fishing trip. I don't think it is possible to be "too" prepared...



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