Where Fly Fishing is a Professional Passion…..

Whew……24 Straight Days…

Sat. May 24, 2014……  Whew……catching my breath.  Got an unexpected break today due to some pesky thunderstorms that blew us out yesterday on the Clinch headwaters….then same thing today.  Had a string of 24 straight days…but hey its time to make hay.  A bitter cold winter and spring meant I am making up for a slow late winter /early spring so had to play a little catch up.  And I have done just that.  But have gotten a little slack posting reports due to the past month of several groups….preparing all the days meals- – -breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as guiding and tying flies at night.  A full schedule for sure, with a little website update here and there.  Its been a good month, albeit some unusual conditions….though certainly still in the realm of normal.  But here’s a quick update on the past week….


May 18 through May 22 I guided a group Trip on the South Holston, one I do every may for these guys, Joe Craig, High Point, NC, UNC University System President Tom Ross, Rusty Walker, Locke Clifford, Bill Leinster, Ron Davis, Wendell Ott, Andy Gwynn,  and on the South Holston tailwater, hatches were spotty, but we still caught a lot of fish, we had some sulphurs early and late, and mainly late, and the nymph continues to be good and  the way to catch numbers of fish when fish aren’t rising, pretty standard anywhere not just here. Midges and sulphur nymph imitations early, mostly sulphur nymph imitations midday to early afternoon.  Not the usual foray of dry fly nirvana of years past, but the guys had a great time, I think we caught 50 to 60 fish each day and the weather was great.



Also did a half day float on 5-22 with Brad Ball and Stephen Starnes , so these two reports run together. A string of 18 hr days so I’ve been so busy I haven’t updated the site as much as I reported above….  We did mid Big Springs to Boone Lake and dodged thunderstorms all around us, did a short float on the lower river…we didn’t kill them, caught a few, narrowly escaped getting drenched and missed a good chance. A few sulphurs popping, but water temps are up and the hatch hasn’t materialized on much of the middle to lower river the way it can. Late afternoons and evenings offer the best shot at good surface fishing, and the occasional riser you can nail on a sulphur dry, but the way to catch numbers continues to be nymphing. That should change once TVA gets back on normal pattern of some full generation.


Had a Friday  Trip, guiding Paul Riley, Fred Gebarowski, Cary, NC, on one of our premier Va Private Waters…Little River, Big Cedar Fork….we had some early morning thunderstorms that blew things out and before we could get in and get to fishing the water rose and was muddy. Interesting, the line of storms went only over the watershed we were fishing then crossed into East TN and NW NC and there were flooding rains all the way down to the NC/SC line. We fished about 3 hrs, with limited success…2 big rainbows, a redeye, and about a pound and a half smallmouth. Other than that, it was a bust. We’ll be rescheduling….


At the end of the day I did a two hour casting lesson with Diane and Scott Bertrand…..We did the lesson, I delivered a few dozen of my favorite CDC sulphur patterns that have been fooling those tough SoHo browns all up and down the river.  Been getting a ton of calls for flies as folks are finding some challenging fishing so looks like in addition to trips I’ll be doing a ton of fly tying in addition to my own tying as I tie all my guided trip flies. Took these amazing shots on the river upstream on the upper river….stunning!   A full day for sure….


Today, Saturday, I had a trip scheduled with  Albert Lundquist, Greensboro, NC, Va Private Water, but the water still muddy/blownout from yesterday morning’s storms….will be rescheduling to a later date.  We had a line of super cells come through yesterday morning, moved unusually NW to SE out of Ohio and Eastern Kentucky and they arrived early am just in time to dump 2″ of rain and foul both the Clinch, Little River, and Big Cedar Fork.  So much for fishing there for a few days……muddy conditions.  Real muddy.  From the photo below you be the judge…


I will be doing a short ‘vacation’, something needed at the moment, and will be “guiding” my lovely bride Kathy as she wants to fish/float the South Holston two days….her favorite river…….the lady is gorgeous, can cook like you wouldn’t believe, puts up with me, and loves dogs, the outdoors, hiking, camping, flyfishing, bluegrass music…..brown trout, and the South Holston……incredible. Just a few of the reasons she is fantastic…and the catch of my life. We hopefully will be fishing the sulphur hatch, or slinging some meat for big browns on the Bluff City end of the river, and maybe looking for a few stripers at the Bluff City stretch there too.  It will depend on water/flows.  We will also likely do a small stream in the area as well.  Always a great thing to fish with Kat, the South Holston is where we met many years ago and some of our early fishing dates were day trips up from Greensboro, NC.  A client introduced us, and we’ve been together ever since.   A lady who is godly, loves to flyfish, can cook, and is gorgeous as well.  As I have said I have better than I deserve….!


In any case, have a safe and happy Memorial Day Holiday, and remembering all those and thank you to all Veterans, many of whom paid the ultimate price and many who are doing that right now to ensure we have a safe and free place to enjoy life.  America is a great nation, and our military folks are the best.  Thanks to all of you….

Tight Lines…


Posted from the banks of the SOHO in Bluff City, TN


Andy Gwynn entertains the group just before dinner with some pickin’ on the porch on the banks of the South Holston, Bluff City, TN



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