A Quick Break from a Long Streak of Guiding

Sorry it’s been so long between reports, but we’ve been guiding our neoprene socks off!

It’s only June, but we’ve already put in a full season of guiding by Rocky Mountain standards; and summer has just arrived.

We’ve got some good stuff in store. We’re putting a new newsletter together with plenty of  pictures and video from the past few months on the water. There’s even some news from the Lynn Camp Prong brook trout restoration near Tremont in the Smokies.

Brookies in Lynn Camp Prong are doing well

Brookies in Lynn Camp Prong are doing well

The Smokies

We’ve been experiencing a fair number of afternoon thunderstorms across the Smoky Mountain region of East Tennessee and Western North Carolina over the past few weeks. Fortunately there hasn’t been much of the way of blow out streams.

Typically a few streams will get stained or a bit off color for a few hours of the day, but that’s about it. In fact, We’ve usually been able to drive 20 minutes or less to another stream with clear water.

Right now all of the medium to high elevation streams in the Smokies are fishing extremely well. Larger streams in the lower elevations are starting to fish a bit tougher, but several experienced anglers continue to do well on them. It’s terrestrial time in the Smokies so dig out your ant and beetle patterns.


The tailwaters continue to fish well and there have been good river flows for both wading and floating anglers. The Clinch has really fished well this year and we’re seeing some nice size fish as well as good numbers of fish in the 9-12″ range.

TVA has kept Cherokee Dam running a minimum flow for much longer than usual this spring and summer. This warms water up way down the river around Nance’s Ferry, but overall is better for the fishery since it guarantees plenty of cold water in the reservoir for the balance of the summer and fall. This leads to far more quality trout in the river next year.

Smallmouth rivers and streams

It’s smallmouth time! Flows on the Pigeon are great and you can find somewhere to wade any day of the week. Keep tabs on the white water flows so you know where to be for the best water levels.

Little River from Townsend on downstream through Walland is perhaps the most neglected smallmouth river we know of with superb access. Fishing with poppers is great in the evening.

Expect periodic muddy conditions on the Nolichucky due to the sporadic thunderstorms. The same goes for the French Broad, Tuckaseegee, and Little Tennessee Rivers in North Carolina.

Join us in Montana


  1. D. Aldrich says:

    We are coming to Pigeon Forge area on Saturday 6/19 and staying for the week. My husband is an over the road trucker, he’sconcerned about all the flooding he’s been hearing about. Do we have anything to be concerned about in the PIgeon Forge area?

    My son and husband are experienced flyfishermen, I on the other hand am not.
    Know of any specific spots that might work for both levels of expertise?

    • All the flooding was around Nashville, nowhere near the Smokies.

      Look for trout around Gatlinburg or in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The stocked fish around Gatlinburg are easier to catch than the wild trout inside the park. However, there are far more trout in the park and the surroundings are much prettier. The fish are just tougher to catch. Good Luck!