Where Fly Fishing is a Professional Passion…..

Spring Has Arrived…..

Monday, April 1, 2019….Spring has arrived even though it feels quite chilly out today.  A cold front slid through yesterday morning bringing with it a couple of days of cool temperatures before things rebound to a May like feel on Wednesday.  We have had a stellar past week and a half though, and have caught a ton of fish.  Here is what’s been going on in the way of trips the past week and a half…

On 3-21-2019 I guided Wes, Red, and Susan Gormus, 3 Anglers, Charlottesville, NC, Va Private Water, good day, crazy weather, cold, windy, hi reached 50F but it didn’t feel like it, we had high winds and snow all around us, even some snow falling on and off on us.  Never amounted to anything but we ended up having several inches to a high of 8 inches just northeast of Lexington,Va.  We had a good day fishing though, tons of quality rainbows up to 22″, probably 50 on the day, although I didn’t keep count really.  Water conditions were high and clear/green and water temp 39F….running at 150 cfs and perfect.  About as perfect as it gets in that regard.  Great day, ended with very windy conditions and a blast of cold air.  Such is the two faced month called March.  Here are some pics…

On 3-22-2019 I guided Trip, Greg & Alexander Adzima, Boone, NC, NC Mtns, had a very cold windy day, temps were in the low 30s to start and wind blew 25 to 35mph with gusts to 50mph.  Quite breezy to say the least, we still had a good day though, and it eventually got up into the 40s even though the wind never really subsided.  At times you had to quit casting and wait 30 seconds so it could blow….we had a good day though.  Alexander’s girlfriend Tiffany joined us also.  We caught about 50 fish total, a mix of rainbows, browns, and brookies, with Tiffany getting the fish of the day a an 18-19 inch brook char.  Good fishing, the water is, well, ideal or about as good as it gets.  We fished til around 6pm and called it a day, covering about 3/4 mi of river.  Great fishing, here are some pics….


On 3-23-2019 was the annual River Cleanup South Holston and Watauga Rivers, TN,The Bill Beazell and Allen Robbins Memorial Tailwater Roundup, presented by the Cherokee and Overmountain Chapters of Trout Unlimited and local community leaders, provides an opportunity for those who love the South Holston and Watauga Rivers to join forces and make a difference. Past years have been great successes, with members from conservation groups, the fishing community, paddling enthusiasts, and the fly fishing industry showing up to take part.  A lot of trash was removed and was a much needed thing after the flooding of the past several months littered the banks and bottom with tons of new debris.

On 3-25-2019 & 3-26-2019  I guided two float trips, Ken Okorn, Mechanicsburg, PA, and  Tom Lanyi, Carlisle, PA, TN tailwaters, Day one float we got blue winged olives, and rising fish, and caught a bunch of fish on nymphs, dries, wet/soft hackles…..and fished much of the day in a steady moderate to heavy rain.  Great day fishing though, probably 50 or more fish landed.  Day two we floated a long stretch of the lower South Holston and did well on some large fish, probably 20 fish altogether, but some trophy sized >20″ browns, one smallmouth.  Great two days, an abbreviated report as Jeff got in really late and have several more trips including tomorrow…. here are some pics…

On 3-27-2019 I guided  Jeff Chalmers, Jim Bolling, Summerfield, NC, NC Mtns, cold start but the fishing was on fire, we fished two different waters and caught all our fish on double nymph rigs, water levels are nearing perfect and the nymph fishing is simply on fire in most places, fairly typical of this time of year.  We had a chilly start but a very nice weather day, and put probably 50 fish in the net…..a mix of browns, brookies and rainbows.  A short report as I got in late and have another trip tomorrow…here are some pics…

On 3-28-2019 I guided David Carter, Greensboro, NC, NC Mtns, early start and David and I were in the river before 8am.  A heavy frost and chilly start but the fishing was great right from the start.  Water temps are optimum and levels are as well and temps in the a lot of places are in the upper 40s to around 50F.  50F where we were at midday and that means hatches.  Good dry fly fishing should be coming any day now.  We had a stellar day putting about 50 fish in the net, a mix of browns , brookies, and rainbows but mostly rainbows.  caught some large fish, the largest a pair of nice rainbows, one of them a citation sized fish.  Nymph fishing is simply on fire…..no other way to state it.  Best weather day of the year so far, 66F  sunny, no wind, zero humidity.  It was great.  Another long day, up early, in late….but that is what spring is like…!   Here are some photos…..

On 3-29-2019 I guided Patrick McDaid, Greensboro, NC, NC Mtns, another day of incredible weather, warm, it was mid 50s to start which was kind of nice….very nice.  Patrick and I fished two different small streams.  Water levels are fantastic, about as ideal as it gets, and most places are what I’d call normal level and even a few, if you can believe it, are running lower than you’d expect, what I’d call slightly below that….a shocker given how wet the year started off.  Water temps range from mid 40s to around 50F and bugs are hatching like crazy.  Saw a lot of rising fish today, and that is typical of warmups and falling water.  We did great and caught a ton of fish, some nice wild browns as well.  Capping off a very busy week, here are a few pics….

Its now April and I am working on our usual beginning of the month stuff plus catching up after two weeks of being on the water almost 6 days each week.  A mountain of email, messages, fly orders, things are very busy.  If you have messaged me and not heard back I am getting caught up and will get back to you.  Lots of 18-20 hr days here lately…..crazy season has arrived!   Cool down next day or two then back to great spring weather.  Fishing is great and will only get even better on all waters. Perfect as perfect gets as far as conditions.   Delayed Harvest waters restocking for April starting today, opening day on all Hatchery Supported waters is Saturday Apr 6.

I put out a free printable Hatch chart in PDF format for the month each and every month and you can print this at our page here or by clicking the link below:

JWFF April Hatch Chart

It has not only the insects that you will find to be active but also what flies match them.  Of course, a lot of waters its more about presentation than the bug per se.  But there are times, and we’ll all encounter them if you fish enough, where something a bit closer to what they are eating is needed.  But those aren’t the majority of situations.

The most notable thing about the current conditions is that we are primed for the best dry fly fishing of the entire year any day now.  I saw more risers this week than any previous to now, and the reason is warmer temps and falling water temps.   A continuance of both of those things will yield more and more fish rising.  Right now, water temps above 4000′ are still low to mid 40s but that is warm enough for fish to be actively feeding and nymphing is great right now with dry fly fishing coming.  Water temps between 2000′ and 4000′ are in that key upper 40s to low 50s range that yields bwos, dark caddis, and our largest clinger type mayflies….most notably Grey Fox, March Browns, Lt Cahills, and more, and I have witnessed many of those already hatching.  Our lowest elevation trout waters  in those 1400′ to 2000′ elevations(front slopes…i.e. Mitchell, Ararat, Wilson, East Prong, Stone Mtn Creek, Catawba R, Elk Fork, etc.) are already in the prime low 50s and reaching mid 50s on some.  Prime dry fly action exists and will continue and soon we’ll see all our ‘yellar’ bugs (local vernacular) made up of sulphurs and Lt Cahills.  On the tailwaters, blue wings continue mixing with black caddis and we are already seeing a few sulphurs pop if you can believe.  The Watauga caddis hatch is upon us and so is the South Holston sulphur hatch.  Looks like warm weather coming so that will only serve to speed things up.

Time to get out and fish.  Our calendar is filling up.  We have a couple of open April dates week of April 8th and last week of April, and May will soon be totally full.  We are filling summer dates daily as well so if you want a date time to grab one while we still have openings.

Tight lines!


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