It’s that time of year for us. Imagine December at Macy’s and that’s the time of year it is for us in the fly fishing guide business. Fishing is great everywhere right now and anglers are coming out of the woodwork. With all the water we have here in East Tennessee it’s not surprising that we’re covering a lot of territory!
In the past few days we’ve have anglers on Little River, Abrams Creek, and floated the Holston River. More of the same this week and the weather is forecast to be beautiful!
Pat Timbes hooked up again!
Pat Timbes is a recent East Tennessee transplant from Idaho and was very pleased with the fishing he found in his new home waters. Caddis are just getting started on the Holston and rising fish are very common yet, but the nymphing has been superb. Pat got several nice fish on dry flies, but nymphs kept his rod bent consistently throughout the day.
Gobblers in Cades Cove on the way to Abrams Creek
Abrams Creek fished very well last week even though water was relatively high. We tried dry flies in a few spots through the day but didn’t raise any fish. A double nymph rig consisting of a Tellico Nymph and Copper John fished about 30″ under a strike indicator drew strikes almost everywhere we fished it though. We picked up several fish in the morning, but it became very consistent by lunch and on through the afternoon.
Dwarf crested iris on the slope above Little River
Charity had a trip several miles up Little River from Elkmont the same day I was on Abrams Creek and also reported fairly high water, but the fish were very active. Dry fly fishing was the primary goal for her angler who rarely gets to do it so she rigged him up with a Stimulator and a #14 Beadhead Pheasant Tail Nymph. While they did get some action on the Stimulator, most of the hook ups came on the nymph. High water was the likely culprit since dry fly fishing in the park has been very good lately. Also, water levels have dropped significantly in the past few days so you shouldn’t see the conditions we experienced.
Young Duncan Watts landed his first couple of wild trout on a fly last week too. I took him and his father out for an instructional trip last week. They raised a pretty good number of fish on the dry fly but learned just how quick the trout can be.
We’re also hearing great things about the Clinch. No Sulphurs yet, but beadheads and Zebra Midges are producing well. Flows are at a minimum so the river is as good for wading as you will ever find it. Don’t plan any first time floats with these flows, though. Sections are OK to float, but any long trips will result in laborious boat dragging. The Hiwassee also has a similar minimum flow right now and we’ve heard some good stuff about it as well. That river is always good for dry fly fishing this time of year with those flows. Expect Hendricksons and caddis.