Where Fly Fishing is a Professional Passion…..

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!


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