until the snow is flying. The browns on the Watauga and South Holston are making redds and beginning their spawning ritual. The colors on the browns have been spectacular this year.
Soon it will be time for our Winter Float Trip Specials and you can go sling some streamers for the big trophy trout these tow tailwaters are noted for. Keep an eye on this blog for the Winter Trip Special pricing announcement.
Mark your calendars for November 3rd and 4th, 2012 and be sure to attend the WNC Fly Fishing Expo at the Ag Center in Asheville, NC. It is located across the street from the Asheville Airport. If you want to learn more about Tenkara casting and fishing techniques then be sure to come to the show. I will be giving casting and fishing technique demos on the casting pond throughout the weekend. When I am note giving casting demos, look for me in the A & S Outfitters Fly Shop booth, you may also find me in the TFO, Chota and Flymen Fishing Company booths as well. I hope to see you there.
The past week has been a bunch of smallie and trout doubles for my clients. The trout on the Watauga have been on fire for zebra midges most of the day. Jim and Susan were constantly hooking up on doubles as the fished the Upper Watauga near Wilbur Dam and Bee Cliff Cabins. Casting accuracy was needed as we work the midges in tight places to get the bite, their patience and excellent casting skills helped them throughout the day.
Then it was on to smallmouth bass on the Holston Proper and they excelled at teasing those stubborn smallies into biting in some tight cover. The barometric pressure was all over the map that day making the fish very lethargic, but their ability to hit small targets and making their flies look so life like helped them get the bigger smallies to bite. The Double G was the best topwater fly and the Tequeelly was the best streamer for the day.
A father and daughter duo from Cincinnati, Ohio had another great day on the Holston Proper. They had never fly fished for smallmouth bass or thrown streamers and big popper flies, so we had a little casting lesson first thing that morning and then off to fishing. Hillary picked up on how to fish for them quickly. She really got a nice smallie as her first about a hour into the float. After landing this hard fighting smallie she said, “this is absolutely awesome and I will be back to do this again SOON”. She became very good at sight fishing, seeing the bass in the shallows and casting her fly to the best spot and enticing the bass to eat. Dad was just happy to clean up any fish that she left in the spots.
Well this coming weekend is Troutfest. I will be in the Temple Fork Outfitters booth with my good friends, Rick Pope, Bob Clouser and Lefty Kreh. Be sure to stop by and register for a float trip with me. There will be an old wicker creel with sign up slips on one of the tables in the booth. Hope to see you there.
When casting weighted flies, here are some things to keep your thoughts on. Are you casting the fly line and fly off the end of the rod to ensure not smacking the rod with a weighted fly and damaging your equipment. When landing your cast is your line and leader as straight as possible and are you instantly connected to the line? Being connected to a straight line and leader will let you feel that bite that usually happens as soon as your fly hits the water. Watching a recent underwater video of a fly caster landing his line with slack and then taking to much time to get the line into his fingers and begin stripping, the smallmouth hit is flies three times before he felt the first hit.
Just some food for thought as your practice your casting in the yard or on the river.
I will be in attendance at Troutfest coming up May 19th, and 20th. I will be in the Temple Fork Outfitters and Chota booths all weekend. Be sure to stop by and lets talk some fishing.
I am pleased to announce that we now have online booking available for your fishing trips, click on the “BOOK ONLINE NOW” link on the left side of the site. You can still call or email me for dates, but this new system will let you use your credit cards for deposits and trip final payment.
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.