I don’t know about you, but I like more…and bigger…and better, stronger, faster, more productive. You get the point. This is the Cumberland river tailrace of today. For those of you who have been following our story here for some time, you know we have been monitoring the river since the dam repair and doing a few trips late each year as the river recovers from the repair. 2018 will be marked as the year of an incredible increase in MORE. The fishery and the fishing has been getting better each year, but this year it went from walk to run. Everything about it now says full recovery is in sight. The river bottom vegetation is back, the mayflies are back, and the slot fish are back. USACE is back to daily flow regimes much like pre -008. And we are back.
SEA is positioning to fish here as much as possible for the remaining season of 2018 and to add the venue to our full menu once again as we go into next year. We currently have 2 guides and boats, both drifters and jets fully licensed for the river with a 3rd rig getting set up for 2019.
A couple of things to remember: This place is in the middle of nowhere so a 2-3 day stint is recommended in case 1 day blows out on you. Come prepared with everything for everything. The river can throw everything at you. That’s just what you get, when you get more.
Call any time to talk fishing or book a trip. Dane 770-655-9210.
An early summer note to all of our fishing buddies out there. The dry fly fishing on the Hiwassee River is now in full swing. We have sulfurs, blue wings, a few caddis and the first of the isonychias showing up in the afternoons on the river. Plenty of cold water every day to float our favorite stretches on the upper river and warm weather for shorts, T’s and flip flops. This is what we wait for all year. If you haven’t had a good dry fly fix in a while, then the next two months on the HI are going to be hard to beat. Plenty of fish are showing their heads, including these two better than average browns that have come to net recently.
Everything is coming together nicely on all of our other TVA tailwaters in the region also. We are at the cusp of seeing consistent, predictable, PRODUCTIVE flows on all of the area rivers now. Unless a drastic summer weather pattern emerges or there is something out there I don’t see, we are going to have our pick of venues for the next two months. Trout and smallmouth fishing in the Southeast is going to be good this summer. We sampled the Cumberland river a week ago and it is ready for us early this year. Our plans are to start offering trips on the Cumberland in mid- July this year. I am thinking hoppers and beetles early this time. Enjoy these fresh pics form the last 2 weeks and give us a call to get out on the water.
Are we there yet? The main question we have been asking for what seems like a couple of months. Today I think we can say yes. We have arrived! Everyone missed this winter’s forecast. It turned out to be long, wet, and cold with an early spring that looked an awful lot like it’s mama. But now everything has changed up, we are good to go, and ready to roll. Let’s kick it off.
Although late winter rains made fishing a challenge for those attempting it, they appear to be promising us with some short term above average conditions for May on most of our local east Tennessee waters. We could be looking at some bonus days on the Hiwassee this month. TVA may give some flows allowing us to drift the upper river on weekdays in May. This usually doesn’t occur until after Memorial day. So if you are fairly local and can slip off a day on short notice during the week this month, I recommend this trip. You might call it a little secret water. The Holston below Cherokee and the Clinch also look very favorable for the next few weeks as well as the weather. May will be caddis and sulfur month if you catch it right.
The Cumberland river snippet – Keep driving. We are not there yet. Even with as much rain as we have received this late winter and spring, above the plateau has received even more. The Cumberland river is at and has been at full generation for a while. It is still going to be a while here yet. Look to mid-summer on the Cumberland.
As always, call or email to talk fishing or book a trip.
Happy New Year to All of the Southeastern Anglers out there. 2017 proved to be a very good year for fishing in our neck of the woods. The Hiwassee river produced consistently for us. The Holston river fished very well early for larger trout and then the smallmouth bite was off the chart towards late season. Later in year we began seeing consistent one turbine flows on the Clinch, which we are still enjoying now. This is an unusual and very welcome occurrence on the Clinch. We were able to get on the Cumberland river in earnest after August of 2017. We had some exceptional late season days. The Cumberland now holds the greatest promise it has in over 10 years and we are watching for late winter/ early spring windows now.
It is always difficult to rub the crystal ball in January and expect an honest answer from the genie. So much of what we do is dependent on mother nature and the intricacies of weather, water flows, temperatures, fish populations and the likes. However, right now we are sitting pretty. The colder than anticipated winter weather and moderate amounts of rainfall have the reservoirs in very good, manageable condition. Most lakes are at or under flood guide which means the cold temps are chilling the waters down to the bottom. This will ensure cold flows in the tailwaters throughout the season. The absence of high lake levels means TVA and USACE can run moderate flows right now. This gives the fish an opportunity to feed adequately and not just hunker down out of the heavy flow. This in turns indicates larger and healthier fish for later throughout the year. The lack of extremely heavy winter flows is also good for the insects, baitfish, and forage species populations in the rivers.
All said, everything looks good to me from here. As long as there is water and fish in the water to be caught, we will be on it. Just give us a shout and lets talk about your plans to catch a few...Southeastern Style.
Well folks, it is time to change things up. If you haven’t been able to get out and sample our waters this summer, don’t worry! The best of 2017 may still be out there. I really like what the crystal ball is illuminating for the next 90 days for the trout fishing and especially the tailwater fishing in the southeast. Several key factors seem to be lining up which usually mean better than average fishing conditions. A stark contract to late 2016. We have received ample moisture throughout the summer. Reservoir levels are now very adequate and at manageable levels. This points towards good predictable upcoming flows. The weather is cooling quickly and nicely. Water temps will be good. The fall NWS forecast is for mild weather and normal precipitation. Put all of that together, and this fall may be hard to beat.
Hiwassee River outlook – Fishing here should get prime again in mid October and be good throughout the year and into 2018. Flow rates will be best during the week.
Cumberland River – We are currently setting up blocks of trips here for the fall. We have a few slots for October and good availability for November. Recommend two day trips here. If current conditions prevail, November could be the best period we have seen here in quite a while.
Holston River smallmouth – This has been excellent fishing lately and October is going to be really good for a few more weeks until temps drop and then the trout fishing should return to the upper stretches shortly after.
Clinch River - Always a bit of a crap shoot, but with current conditions, it may pay out more frequently this fall. Mostly a streamer game with correct flows.
Tellico River watershed wade fishing - Mountain wade fishing the Tellico and tributaries. Predicting almost ideal conditions for October/ November.
As always, call or email for what is happening today. Thanks, Dane.
Well folks, it’s finally here! Summertime drift fishing on the Tennessee tailwaters. TVA and USACE has filled all of our reservoirs to summer pool and they all have plenty of water for good flow rates all season. Our Home water, the Hiwassee River is flowing perfect for drift trips on the upper section through the gorge. The next 90 days here will be hard to beat. Our catch rates will be the best with dry fly action already starting. For a fun filled day trip with lots of action and fish feeding on the surface, this is where you will want to be. The Clinch river is performing well for larger trout on streamers. We want to target weekends here for the most predictable flows. This is head hunting for larger trout on sink tips and streamers, so be prepared. Within just another week or two, I expect the Big Holston to be at its peak. The trout section will be performing well with mostly nymph fishing for high quality trout. At this same time the smallmouth section should start heating up and just get hotter through October when the water cools back off.
I know everyone is wondering about the Cumberland and it looks excellent in just a few days from now. The Corps has managed the spring rainfall well and we are going to have very good flows earlier this year than the past. This venue will always be a little trickier than the others just due to the sheer size of the waterway we are dealing with. But with the risk will come great rewards. You will be seeing pics from here soon.
As always give us a call or email anytime to talk fishing, etc.
The first months of spring have provided us with very good fishing opportunities in the Tennessee Overhill and Valley tailwaters. April and May yield a variety of species on the fly as the spring spawners get active. April rainfall has put our reservoirs back in excellent shape for the spring and summer fishing seasons. With these water levels going into May, it makes me believe that we are going have a lot of float options throughout the summer this year. We are on target to begin upper river floats on the Hiwassee Saturday, May 27th. However, with the good moisture we are receiving and more in the forecast, I would not be surprised to see the upper river and gorge section floatable sooner. The caddis hatch is now underway on most of the area waters and the hendrickson mayflies are finishing up. The mother’s day grannom caddis are on the way. The nymph and streamer fishing is excellent with dry fly action always a possibility. These are just a few fresh photos from the last couple of weeks. Let’s get out and go fishing. It is on!
As always, call or email anytime for a quick response to daily conditions. Dane Law 770-655-9210.
Well another fishing year has come and gone and a brand new one is under way. Goodbye 2016 and the fall dry spell you left us with. Here are a few recent pics of what the boys have been doing lately. Streamer fishing for trout on our southern tailwaters and chasing an occasional muskie. The head hunting has been good lately. For the next month or so we plan on more of the same as well as getting into the mountains for some small stream fishing to check on our local back country areas. As the days and afternoons warm and the stream flows subside, we will be seeing our first hatches of the year. Little stoneflies, blue wings and then the hendricksons will be here soon.
As I rub my crystal ball and look out into the next few months, I think this spring season will be a little different. I think we will see some productive and fishable flow rates on some of the larger tailwaters that we do not usually see this time of year. Unless things change soon, the lower reservoir levels combined with warmer temperatures equal lower spring river flows. Rivers like the Cumberland, Clinch, and Caney fork could be some awesome spring targets. If you are looking for something you haven’t fished before or haven’t fished in the spring, this may be the year. My suggestion for planning spring drift trips is to book your desired dates early and then be flexible for location and lodging. Be ready to fish the best available. It is going to be a spring full of weekly and daily changes with great fly fishing opportunities presenting themselves.
Our group of traveling anglers will be headed out to Chile on Friday for our 2017 Patagonia brown trout extravaganza. I will have you a report in March on our successes. We still have slots available for late February 2018.
As always, call or email to talk fishing.