Guided Trips


Fishing continues to be good to excellent in the Great Smoky Mountains of east Tennessee. 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 Yellow Quills are still hanging on in the mid to high elevation brook trout water although not for long. October caddis (more properly, great autumn sedges) are hatching in good numbers now on the North Carolina side of the Park and just starting on the Tennessee side. Terrestrials still have a place in your fly box as well although they are definitely winding down for the year. 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. Brook trout are still eating smaller yellow dry flies as well. 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 hoping to get some type of a report for there soon. 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 are holding off for 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. 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 and one or two in October. 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

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Here Comes Fall

Fall colors in Tennessee

Just like that, summer is over. Earlier this week, I saw a graph of the streamflow on Little River that went back several years. I noticed that, basically every year, we end up with the lowest water of the year in September. That is normal. Thankfully it looks like we are just about out of the woods.

Some rain fell across the Park yesterday and more should fall both today through Saturday. Amounts are not overly impressive, at least not yet. As low as the streams were getting though anything will help. Best of all we will see highs in the 60s and 70s and lows down well into the 50s for this next week. An early cool snap to kick off the fall season will get both fish and fishermen in the mood for the great fishing coming up over the next two months.

In the meantime, after guide trips through next Wednesday, I'm off for the land of Yellowstone. I have always dreamed of a trip taken in the autumn, and while I would love to stay all the way to the closing weekend for fishing in early November, I'll instead be heading back to Tennessee to take people fishing through our own fantastic fall fishing season. Don't worry, I'll be getting out to fish for myself a lot as well.

If you haven't booked your guide trip for fall, don't wait too much longer. Prime dates are filling fast and I'm booked solid until October 14. Call/text me at (931) 261-1884 or email me at to book. The fishing should be good through at least the end of October and quite possibly well into November depending on how soon we get the first major cold snap.


  1. It's kind of hard to think Fall is here when it's 102 degrees outside. Send some our way.

    1. Mark, hopefully this will be the fall and winter that the weather pattern finally shifts and you guys get some water!

  2. Wow, I must have misunderstood. I thought I won an all expense paid trip to Yellowstone with you?

    1. Howard, sorry but I think you missed the fine print. Here is the blown up version: "Round trip travel to and from Yellowstone not included. Licenses, flies, and equipment not included. Food and beverages not included. Trip only includes camping space in a Yellowstone campground." Seriously though, what's a short drive up to Yellowstone? Come up and fish! Unless I see major changes in life between now and then, next fall will feature Colorado so stay tuned for that.

  3. Good luck out west. A friend of mine is Yellowstone bound too, leaving on Sunday.

    1. It seems like a good time to be going other than the low water across the area.



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