We’re in the full rush of our guide season and on the river almost every day. I managed to sit one out after 13 consecutive days behind the oars or wading the creek. It was a good to get a day in to recover a bit, but the fishing has been so good we’ve been looking forward to every day on the water.
I’ve had a pretty good run of anglers hooking up with fish like this one landed by Jeff McSwain a few days back. Some days have certainly been better than others, but every float has landed some very nice fish in the 14″ range and we’ve seen more than our share of fish in the 18″+ range. This one was officially taped at 19.5″, but we’ll just go ahead and call it 20″ for Jeff.
Not all of the fish are big, and quite frankly they aren’t supposed to be but that shouldn’t diminish the beauty of the stream or the importance of the moment. Here’s a great pic of 10 year old Maggie Niemayer with her first trout. We always enjoy teaching new fly fishers the finer points of the sport, but it’s particularly rewarding when we pass our knowledge along to young anglers. Maggie spent a great morning on the water with her father.
Everything is fishing well right now. The mountain streams have excellent water levels and the fish are looking up. If you can’t attract any attention with a dry fly you should find success with a nymph. We’ve focused our attention on using Parachute Adams and Haystacks. Even when we’ve used nymphs we’ve primarily used dropper rigs with Stimulators on top and Copper Johns on bottom.
Tailwater fishing is pretty good, although we haven’t seen all the great dry fly fishing we usually expect in May. Sulphurs are hatching on the Clinch, but expect them later than earlier in the day. Generation schedules from Norris Dam are great for wading in the morning, but make it more of a floater’s river late in the day.
We’re seeing occasional caddis on the Holston, but nymphing has been far more consistent. We’ve experienced some areas with good rises on every float, but not enough to keep up from going back to the nymph.