Fishing on our Appalachian Tailwaters requires some serious downsizing during the winter. It is mainly a midge thing, mostly nymphs and very small. The time is right to break out those 3X magnifiers and the 7X tippet, but the rewards can be great.
Snow, cut you to the bone wind chills, freezing guides, but we still love it. The big browns are out and about on the South Holston, and the wade fishing is the way to go. Later this week we will be back above the freezing mark and you won’t have to deal with the fly line getting frozen to your guides. It seems they are wanting some meat to eat so it has been Buggers on the swing and strip.
If you want to chase some of those big browns, give me a call or email. Now the time to order those gift certificates for that Christmas. We have them in all amounts, so if you are struggling on what to get that special person, give them a fishing trip gift certificate.
The Watauga is fishing at both ends of the extremes as far as fly sizes. Those drive you crazy itty bitty midges, size 26 to 30 are working very well. Small midge dries and emergers can be tough to fish, but the rewards can be excellent. Grey and black are the best. Then you can also have a great day swinging and stripping big bad to the bone wooly buggers. Seeing those fish come up behind the fly as you strip it and them, WHAM!!!, the fight is on.
The South Holston is fishing good with Sulphurs stil coming off in the mid-afternoon. The weather this coming week will probably bring out more of the BWO’s. The big browns are staging up for the spawn and some nice big colored up browns are being caught. Now is the time that those big browns will be the most accessible during wade fishing. Give me a call and lets get you on the water.
The South Holston Tailwater is fishing good, still have plenty of sulphurs coming off in the afternoon. The small size 20 BWO’s come of in the morning and then the sulphurs come off good in the mid afternoon. The browns sucking them off the surface make a popping sound. Fish rising everywhere make it tough to choose where to cast your fly.
The Watauga is fishing good, cranflies and BWO’s are the hatches coming off. The Caddis Riflle has been fishing good and we are seeing some nice browns on the redds in the river. Skating a yellow palmer has been the ticket for the hovering cranflies and our new CWO pattern is taking them when they are locked on Blue Wing’s.
The private waters are getting recharged this week with plenty of rain and the fishing is excellent. We are using small nymphs and midges on lighter tippet and it really tests your skills at landing big fish on light tippet.
It was a good week of fishing finished off by the WNC Fly Fishing Expo in Asheville, North Carolina. Did some smallie fishing on Monday and Tuesday and trout fishing the rest of the time. The smallies were being picky but we quickly zeroed in on what they needed. The trout on the Watauga are being spotty but fish are being caught on BWO and Cranfly imitations.
The Thanksgiving holiday will soon be upon us and I am looking forward to spending time with my family. Now is the time to think about gift certificates for those who love to fish or are thinking of fishing. We have all levels of gift certificates available.
On December 4th and 11th I will be doing fly tying demos at the Fly Shop of Tennessee at 102 Wilmary Road in Johnson City. I will be tying some of the tailwater specials I use in my guiding on the South Holston and Watauga Tailwaters.
Fall is in the air and the leaves are revving up their brilliant colors. We are seeing yellows and crimson reds this week. The fishing has been up and down dependent upon the weather fronts coming through the area. The Watauga and South Holston seem better in the mornings before the sun gets high in the sky. The Holston for smallies is the opposite, it needs the high sun to heat the water and the action is good in the afternoon.
I introduced some new fly fisher persons to their first trout and also spent some time with longtime clients. Here are some samples from the week.
This was a week of trips on the Watauga Tailwater near Elizabethton, Tennessee. The Watauga has really turned around with the cooler temperatures as Fall approaches. We saw cranflies, cream and grey midges, blue wing olives, and some caddis. The fish were flashing and feeding about two to three feet down and with the clear water the clients could see them go after their presentations. There was nothing of trophy size caught, but the numbers were exceptional for each day. Had brothers Chris and Doug from Louisville, Kentucky and they had plenty of double hookups throughout the day. One pocket was holding plenty of fish and Chris got a double hookup as Doug got a single, made for a cool picture.
I had one day with some good clients and friends, Tim and his son Noah from Raleigh, North Carolina. Noah is an exceptional young man with some serious health risks but truly enjoys spending a day with his Dad fishing for trout. The day was one that will hold a great memory for the both of them. Noah landed so many fish and seeing that big smile on his face each time the fish came to the net makes you realize what the day is all about.
The upcoming week will be spent on the trophy waters in Southwest Virginia. Be sure to check back and see all the “PIGS” that will be brought to the custom built “Nes’s Net’s”. The trips are booking fast for these trophy trout trips so be sure to give me a call or an email to get your trip scheduled on these excellent waters.
Well we are finally cooling down in the southern Appalachian mountains of East Tennessee. The nightly temperatures are getting down into the upper forties and lower fifties and daytime highs are mid seventies to low eighties with mild cooler breezes throughout the day. The smallmouth are doing very well and the big brown trout are moving upriver to get to the spawning areas. We are also seeing some nice stripers being caught on the lower South Holston Tailwater near the town of Bluff City.
The private trophy trout waters in Southwest Virginia are really coming alive. We fish these waters all winter long. There is nothing like fighting a 5 to 12 pound trout while there is snow coming down. If you want to get one of these big fish to the net and get your “Fins & Grins” shot give me a call and lets get you on the schedule.
I have also been working on some streamers that we will be throwing during the high water on both the Watauga and South Holston Tailwaters during high water generation as the TVA draws the lakes down this fall. Here are some samples, they aren’t new designs but my interpretation of these patterns.
We are going to offer the same “WINTER FLAOT TRIP” discount we offered last year. It proved to be good for all of you and I thank those who took these trips. The price will be the same $235 for a 6 hour float trip, on either the Watauga or South Holston (SoHo dependent upon generation). This starts after Thanksgiving weekend and runs through March 13th, 2011.
Give me a call or email and let me take you fishing.