On The Count Down to Spring Fly Fishing

We’re shacked up here at R&R world headquarters with the kids out of school yet again as another wintery mix of freezing rain, sleet, and rain sweeps across East Tennessee. The temperature has been dropping all day while the rivers are rising. Not a good day to really consider being out on the water, although I do have tons of bare hooks, feathers and dubbing giving me the stink eye from less than a yard away. It seems the fly tying fairies haven’t dropped in.

Box full of flies

Those flies don’t tie themselves.

It could be the kids are scaring them away. They gone to school all of 3 1/2 days out of the last 3 weeks, and 3 of those days were just this week before they cancelled school again in the face of approaching front.

I never thought of it before, but Jack Nicholson’s character in The Shining wasn’t really that bad a guy, just tragically misunderstood. After three weeks snowbound with my family I’m starting to see things from his point of view, but I digress…

Everything is a little more tolerable today when I look ahead to next week when sunshine returns, the weather warms up and dries out, and we can probably expect the first real hatches of the year. I’ve heard some rumblings about hatches in the park, but based on flows and water temperatures down in the 30’s most of the past month I can’t really get excited until the water stays up in the high 40’s or 5o’s for at least a few days in a row. And it will very soon.

Quill Gordon

If you need a little bit of a preview, here’s a video from a few years back. It’s keeping me sane and giving me motivation to get those flies tied so we’re not caught short!



  1. Kevin James says:

    As a friend told me, they need to re-open the schools for the safety of the children! What stream was that in the video?

  2. Thanks for the update! I have recently moved back to Seymour after being in upstate NY for about 2 years. Safe to say I’m dying to get out on the water.

  3. Carey Black says:

    Wanted to give a shout out to you guys and tell you how much I enjoy reading your fishing reports, following your Facebook page, and watching your YouTube videos. As a man that is stuck in in an office in coastal South Carolina with not a trout to be found for miles, its one of the few things keeping me sane. Continue the great work guys, and hope to see yall on my favorite Smoky Mountain stream.

    P.S.- I picked up the guidebook that yall put out for the National Park, and I must say I enjoyed it thoroughly, and it definitely came in handy last year.

    • Glad you like it all! It’s been a tough winter with either high water, frigid water, or closed roads but we’re looking forward to better weather and regular fishing.