Where Fly Fishing is a Professional Passion…..

Archive for February, 2019

Keeping On’….

Wednesday February 13, 2019 ….Keep on keeping on….that’s what we’ve been doing.  Have had a busy week continuing to churn out some huge fly tying orders……going blind in the process!  Been getting a lot of request for streamers and tailwater flies we’ve been hammering the browns on, and never sold so many large flies.  Its been great.  Folks are finally figuring out that for larger fish you are better off sometimes throwing the big stuff.  Not your ordinary size 6 , 8, and 10 wooly buggers or stuff like it….4 to 6 inch meat flies.  Something that says to a predator that its worth taking a chance on.

Had some great days small stream fishing with Dr Pat Burney , Greensboro, NC, NC mtn wade fishing and we had ,great weather.  It was warm, water was up a little but we had great conditions, we caught a ton of fish, probably 50 or so, and fished two different waters. Water levels are up but clear and the fishing has been, and was, and will continue to be good.

Good is an understatement, it was great. We caught our fish on a variety of double rigs, small dark nymphs (my BnB nymph, SDs, small dark CJs with a bead, Skinny Nelsons, etc, all worked). We landed several quality browns, some wild fish, and a few big rainbows, including one that was a tank….that ate a tiny fly also. Majority of fish ate the little stuff….normal stuff for January. Rainbow spawn is in progress on wild waters and lower elev waters that have a mix of hatchery and wild fish. Great day though….

After the warm few days we had a mild cool down, cool front and some light drizzle push through the mountains and a change back to more seasonable temperatures and with our excellent water conditions we’ll have great fishing right through it very likely without skipping a beat. A great winter fishing season continues, and no sign of being any different. Lots of great winter fishing left, spring isn’t here yet even though a lot of the trees in the mtns are already heavy with developing buds. Things are thawing, the ground has been frozen for a while and lots of water locked up in the ground, the thawing ground releases in a ‘slow drain’ fashion fresh, green water into the river. Its great for the river and everything in it.

Had some good end of the week streamer fishing with client Dr Jim Kramer, and  we did a full day float on the lower South Holston and had a great day, in high dirty flows as the river was in full generation level plus still high and dingy from the nearly 3.5″ of rain that fell Thursday evening.  The area wide had some significant flooding as well.  We had lots of debris in the river on Saturday but we still did well.

That didn’t stop us from pounding out a good day. It was cold, in the 20sF to start, and we had ice in the guides until well after lunch time, but the fishing was good. We caught less numbers but some big fish, one truly large buck brown that is one of the best of 2019 thus far.

We fished sinking lines, the real heavy tips (300 -350gr plus) and some big meat patterns. Probably landed 15 or so but half of them were large fish. We pulled into the ramp at sunset…. today was yet again proof why we don’t cancel when the conditions are less than ideal. Jim put his PB (personal best) brown in the boat , along with several others…..

Return to cooler (seasonable) weather…..that warm weather may feel nice but we do well in cold weather, and very little competition from other anglers! Small stream and tailwater fishing is good, we had great days the past month in all kinds of weather and anyone who has ventured out with me has done well. We are catching numbers of fish, and some trophy sized fish as well. When you have been guiding for three decades you find ways to work in all kinds of weather, the bills gotta get paid. We catch fish in all weather. This week should be another good one, dry few days to start, some rain late week, but nothing major. Stoneflies, early browns and blacks, continue to be active as well as Aminephura, sp. and Allocapnia, sp. stones, the little 18 and 20 sized flies that pour off all our small streams and DH waters in winter. Fish are munching them, one of our trips during the past week with Dr Pat Burney we put 50 fish in the net , mostly with these little flies. I custom tie them, and I sell them. They work……. As far as tailwaters , they continue to fish great, we have put over 60 20 inch fish in the boat on our floats streamer fishing since early October. Its been phenomenal. When its not streamers, the nymph game has worked well, along with some small blue winged olives that are always a winter option. And its not over. Tailwaters never freeze, and there’s hardly a time you can’t find some fishing on them. There we have fished in everything from teens and blowing blizzard of snow to 60F and sunny…..and caught fish in all of it. Lots of fish. Pics don’t lie. But don’t take my word, make me prove it. Let’s go flyfishing!

Cold wet few days the past few days but things have settled down and cooled down a notch further.  Have a bunch of trips coming up, should be a great few days….we’ll certainly be shooting for that.

Tight Lines…!


We row Sawyer oars exclusively……I row the Sawyer Squaretops with Shoal Cut blades and wouldn’t row anything else. They’re great!


Fishing Right Through…..

Monday, February 4, 2019 That would be the theme of the winter so far.  Fishing right through.  Those who know me know I fish in anything in terms of weather, and fortunately some clients will also.  Interesting too that fish don’t do what they do when we want, they do what they do when they want.  Their world is one of eat or be eaten, and basically they do those two things …..eat and avoid being eaten, or eat and be eaten,  a third, and that is spawn, and finally a fourth, rest when they are not doing those things.   So outside of that they don’t do anything else.  But the point is they feed when we aren’t willing to be out…..thus, we catch fish in all kinds of weather.  Because for them, eating is life or death….and getting enough.

Have had some up and down flows but great fishing the past two weeks.  The brown trout spawn is done, and rainbows are beginning that right now.  Fishing has been superb on many of our trips.  We have caught some huge browns.  Eight weight rods, heavy lines, bigger flies, and that has been getting the job done.  It has been fun and anyone who has been out with me has been rewarded with a stellar outing.

Had a good Friday/Saturday two day float trip , guided Trip, Ted Linczak, Summerville, SC, TN float trip, Ted has booked a ton of days to throw the big stuff and has been rewarded with some great fish and fishing.  The streamer fishing bug continues, flows permitting.

Ted had planned to fish Friday and when Saturday was also open he stayed for that as well. Two days of floating, just short of 23 miles of river. Two totally different days weather wise, Friday was 30s and snowing all day….Saturday was pleasant, cloudy then party sunny and 60F. Couldn’t have had two more opposite days. Spawning areas that have been closed since Nov 1 reopened as well.

We streamer fished a lot on Friday, and had a brief spell of 2hrs when the water was off that we nymph fished a bit and caught some fish doing that, and also tossed some dry flies to rising fish too. Then the water came back on and we picked up where we left off with the streamer game.

We ended up with about 35-40 fish by the end of the day including several large fish on streamers . Saturday we put in mid river and committed to all day streamer fishing, and took advantage of higher flows especially on the lower river, and did very well putting probably 40 to 45 fish in the boat including some bigs….. it was great. Also, several pics of a bald eagle I have seen for weeks on the stretch of the river we were on Saturday…A great two days…… Some of these fish were real eye candy…

We are having a significant mild up the next five days, and the temps all the way through Friday are going to reach 60sF in the mountains and low 70s over in East Tennessee.  Great time to get out and do some fishing, we have openings all week also…..Right now Tuesday 2/5, Wednesday 2/6, Thursday 2/7, and Friday 2/8 are all open/available.  Don’t miss out, some great fishing is available and not many folks out….fish aren’t getting a ton of pressure so its a great time to fish.

Tight lines…


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