The past week of fishing on the South Holston and Watauga Tailwaters as well as the Holston Proper has been as hto as the weather. We have been breaking records for high temperatures each day, whew!!!!
I had the privilege of taking the Bailey Family out for two great days of fishing, one on the Holston Proper for smallies and the other on the Watauga Tailwater for trout. They were a great family who enjoy doing things in the great outdoors together. The smallmouth were on poppers for me and my folks most of the day, nothing like a great topwater bite. We have a new wounded minnow pattern that had the bass going up in the air and coming down on the bait. After I fine tune this fly design I will make a video on how to tie it.
The next day it was off to the Watauga Tailwater. The bite was good right from the boat ramp, my folks got right into catching doubles. As the day went on we got into a dry fly bite as well as some good deep big ugly nymphing. The Watuaga is such a beautiful scenic river and catching some great trout throughout the day just made this a great trip for the Bailey family. I look forward to many more trips with them in the future.
On Monday, Memorial Day we paused to remember those who sacrificed for us. Thank you too all those who have given their all from the Revolutionary War to present day battles.
I had the great honor to take Vietnam era veteran Ed and his son John from Southwest Virginia on a float on Memorial Day down the Holston Proper. The smallies were feeding on the top as well as crawdad pattern flies on the bottom. It was fun watching Ed using his 4 wt rod going after those hard fighting bronzebacks. Be sure to keep and eye on my YouTube channel for a video of him fighting a nice nearly seventeen inch long smallie.
The next three days were father and son, Bryan and Hunter, on their annual week long trip to fish East Tennessee. Day one was floating the Watauga Tailwater and Hunter picked up where he left off last year. He got a good number of good browns on terrestrials on this float, while his dad was getting all nice rainbows on midges. What a great day with some great guys.
Day two was the Holston Proper for some great smallmouth bass action. The weather had given us a little rain the afternoon and evening before so the river had a little color and the carp where in a feeding frenzy along the banks so the edges were stained out about eight to ten feet. With those conditions we used the sinking lines and Clouser Minnows on the Temple Fork Outfitters Clouser Series 8 wt’s. This system of the Rio Lake sinking lines and Clouser rods make for easy casting and presentation getting the bass to hit the flies with gusto. The Clouser Hybrid series of flies were the hot ticket, they were so good even the dragonflies wanted to bite them. After a great riverside shady lunch of grilled burgers and Karen’s homemade BBQ Beans and Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin cookies it was back to more fishing.
Day three was on to the South Holston to go after some of those legendary brown trout this great tailwater is known for. We put on as the water was coming over the Weir labyrinth and waited a few minutes for the water to settle out before getting into the first feeding lane. The bite was on from the start and got better with every cast. It was Zebra midges, Scuds, and the G-Man getting it done that day. The South Holston is fishing the best I have seen in years and the river is loaded with some really hard fighting fifteen to seventeen inch browns.
The Cicadas are out and about, the fish are eating them with abandon, if you want to get in on this hot action with big cicada dry flies, give me a call. These rainbows that are feeding on these Cicadas are averaging in the fifteen to twenty inch range. Come get you some.