The Tennessee Fly Fishing Report, April 18

A relatively few quiet days as far as guiding has been concerned, but a few days that have actually allowed us to get out and fish for ourselves. Charity and I scheduled ourselves for a float that took place yesterday. If we don’t put it on the calendar like a guide date, we’ll usually end up booking a trip for ourselves. It was the best hatch we’ve seen this season on the Holston with caddis hatching somewhat heavy for about an hour.

Big Rainbow

There were several runs that looked this with several pods of fish up and rising. Midges and caddis were the insects, with a couple or three varieties of caddis. There were some large #12 caddis with speckled wings, but the tan micro caddis seemed to be the ones they were intent on. This is the typical situation as a #18 Tan X-Caddis is our go to fly from mid-April through June. Pods of rising fish like this are common through June.

Rising Trout

This fish is actually one of the risers in the previous photo, and what a jumper! At one point in the day we were anchored in one of my favorite dry fly runs, but nothing rising. I slid out of the boat to wade into position to dredge a nymph through some deep riffles. Charity opted to stay in the boat. While nymphing (and turning up nothing) I noticed Charity was rigging another rod in the boat. Anyone who has spent much time around Charity knows she can’t spend an entire day in a drift boat without casting a streamer. If you’ve ever seen us speak you’ll remember her enthusiastic part of the lecture concerning streamer methods. As we pulled anchor we saw a few pods of risers down the river and Charity decided to strip the streamer until we reached them.

We probably didn’t even drift 10 yards when she got a jolting strike. When the fish rolledI could easily tell it was the largest rainbow I have ever seen on the Holston. It was 22″ long and extremely colorful, not to mention strong. Our good friend and guide Time Doyle once said about Charity, “Just turn that girl loose on the river with a big streamer and she’ll let you know just how big the trout get.” You can learn more about the methods Charity and I use fishing streamers by reading this article.

Charity's big fish