Guided Trips

UPDATE: 11/15/2015 -- Smokies Fly Fishing Report: The streams of the Smokies have dropped back to great levels but water temperatures have been dropping steadily for a while. Fishing should improve slowly over the next few days with warmer overnight lows returning as we start the work week. The potential for more heavy rain exists later this week so keep an eye on the forecast. When you do get out, note that brown trout are spawning and should be left alone when on redds. Please avoid walking on and near the redds this time of year. The ability of the brown trout to successfully reproduce is essential to the future of the fishery. If you do not know what a redd looks like, avoid walking on the fine gravel in riffles and the tailouts of pools. Fish that are paired up in these areas are probably spawning and are best left alone.

Caney Fork Fly Fishing Report: The Caney Fork is fishing well at times but only average during others. The good news is that you may get a shot at some better than average trout. So far we have dodged the heavy rain bullet so flows are still good for fishing at least 4 days a week. Contact me about a float or wade trip if you want to enjoy this fishing at or call/text (931) 261-1884.

Cumberland Plateau Fishing Report: Smallmouth bass fishing is about done for the year and I'm transitioning towards fishing for the big toothy critters. Stay tuned for more on that as it develops.

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Photo of the Month: Brook Trout

Photo of the Month: Brook Trout

Friday, February 24, 2012


Go fishing now!!!  The first early spring hatches continue to happen pretty much daily over in the Smokies.  Some nice fish have been caught on dry flies for the fishermen willing to work hard and find those wary browns. 

Currently, bugs are hatching from near Townsend to up past Elkmont, but on the warmest days, the hatches are actually coming off pretty early.  Larger fish will be easiest to catch on those days that keep all but the diehards off the water.  Right now, the crowds are heavy on good days meaning you may be fishing used water.  Thankfully, during hatches at least, you can still catch fish even on "used" water.  This is the best time to fish if you are a relative Smokies novice as fly selection can be as simple as tying on a Parachute Adams.  However, closer inspection will often reveal the fish to be taking Blue Quills or Black Caddis in various stages. 

On a recent trip, I found a good hatch early in the day that dwindled to just a few stray bugs by early afternoon.  During the hatch, the dry fly action was fast and furious.  Before moving to another spot, I found a nice brown rising and got it to nail the dry.  The first cast produced one of the most stressful refusals I have ever had as the fish rocketed out of nowhere just beneath the fly only to vanish just as quickly.  The second cast must have been a better drift and a beautiful brown was soon posing for a quick photo.


The rainbows are fatter than I ever remember seeing a Smokies trout.  The high water that has kept the tailwaters off limits to wade fishermen has done wonders for the fish in the Park.  The warm winter probably helped as well.  Anyway, I expect the next few months to produce some of the best fishing in the Smokies in the last 10 years.  As soon as the tailwaters become fishable we should see similar epic fishing on them as well.  Get ready for a great fishing year!!!


  1. Oh David you are making me very wistful. We have to wait until our close season finishes. All Fools' Day is 33 days away but I have it all planned, it will be great. How could it be otherwise?

    Your photo at the bottom reminds me of the upper reaches of the river I fish most days in the season - the Derbyshire Wye.

    Regular Rod

  2. Regular Rod, everytime someone tells me about living in a place with closed seasons it makes me glad that I don't have to worry about such things. Is your closed season mostly tradition that is now law or is it also just too cold?

  3. David,

    Beautiful photos and great report. Looks like fun to be fooling those fish with dries. Looking forward to your spring break trip report too.


  4. Hi David!

    Really beautiful photos! Unfortunately I'm still waiting for the ice to melt a little more on the rivers and brooks to be able to go fly fishing. That comes with living in a place that can have nasty winters. Your photos and the stories of nice fly fishing makes it itch in my right arm longing for the opportunity to cast a fly or two.

    Have fun fly fishing and thanks for sharing the joy you experience,
    Mats Olsson



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