Peak of the Guide Season

It’s that time of year when we catch our breath, look up at the calendar and realize that it’s the middle of May already. We’ve been guiding quite a bit lately and the calendar doesn’t have much daylight until we’re well beyond Memorial Day. We’re at that time where Ian is spending most days in the drift boat and Charity is guiding up in the Smokies.

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Al Fish with a hefty reason to smile

It seems like this year we’re not seeing as many fish while floating the rivers, but there are far more large fish in the mix. Al lost a fish that was considerably larger than the one pictured above and lost another one that was on his line for a while that we never saw but eventually came off after is straightened the hook!

Caddis are hatching on the Holston as well as Sulphurs. The Sulphur hatch is going strong on the Clinch but don’t expect the bugs to show up until late afternoon into the evening. TVA has reduced the Clinch to minimum flow so floating isn’t an option although waders have the run of the river.

Up in the Smokies the dry fly fishing has been very good over last week in spite of all the unsettled weather we’ve had this week. Nymphing has certainly been the way to go in the morning but there have been some great hatches of Light Cahills and Sulphurs on most of the streams including Little River and Abrams Creek.

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One of several species of yellow mayflies you’ll see hatching in the Smokies right now

Plenty of fish like this taking dry flies in the Smokies right now

Plenty of fish like this taking dry flies in the Smokies right now

Over the past week Charity and I took several members of the National Park Foundation on Little River. They had a meeting in the Smokies this week and many are avid fly fishers. Good news for anglers is that John Jarvis, the director of the National Park Service is a life long fly fisherman.

Director of the National Park Service, Jon Jarvis, changes his fly

Director of the National Park Service, Jon Jarvis, changes his fly

Charity and four members of the National Park Foundation

Charity and four members of the National Park Foundation

One of the highlights of the past week was when Charity took 11 year old Beppy and here grandfather out on one of our local wild trout streams. While the day was spent nymphing, she really worked the fish over catching at least a dozen in a few hours on the water.

First fish of the day on the second cast

First fish of the day on the second cast

Looking like a pro after many more fish in hand

Looking like a pro after many more fish in hand