Fly Fishing Adventures
in the Southern Appalachians

IMG 0740Fellow Southeastern Anglers - hello from Burkesville, Kentucky!  Here are a few fresh photos from recent days on the Cumberland river.  The river is fishing very well daily with good flows and good late summer weather. The streams around the southern Appalachians are resting now, but the Cumberland is fishing strong.  Deep nymph fishing is a consistent producer.  Fish are chasing streamers also.  Some days better than others.  Our hopper dropper rigs are becoming more important every day.  Some very large rainbows have come on hoppers. As the hay and corn is harvested for the season, the grasshopper will become more important.  This may be the place for trout fishing the next couple of months.  We will be here with good available dates still.  Call or email to schedule your trips.  

Happy summer to all of the southeastern anglers out there.  Dane here with a short note to let everyone know that we are opening up the 2019 Cumberland river season.  Water levels and weather look very promising for the upcoming season.  We have begun our first trips of the season here today and fishing is good.  We are offering trips here for larger trout until the weather gets too cold or the river gets too high.  Typically one or the other occurs in November but I have fished the river into December with mild fall weather in the past.  We have two jet boats and drift boats available for this season.  As always, I recommend 2-3 day jaunts here since every day is different.  The Cumberland river holds the best population of trophy trout of any river in the southeast US.  I suggest Dale Hollow state park for lodging.  Dale Hollow has clean affordable lodge rooms and small cabanas, Internet, restaurant, and 24 hr cancellation if the fishing gets blown out. Give me a call or shoot an email anytime to book your Cumberland river adventure.   Thanks. 

FullSizeRenderIt has been several months since a report from our local waters. The abundance of rain during fall and winter held us with a "wait and see" attitude. I am happy to say today that "all is well," and this may be quite the understatement. Starting at home base on the Hiwassee river, we are having very good flows to drift the upper river which is abnormal for pre-Memorial day. The river is fishing excellent with hatches more abundant than the last few years. The sulfurs are starting to crank up and we have a heavy mix of other bugs. IMG 0712The next 120 days are going to be some of the best dry fly fishing we have seen in quite some time. We have an outstanding fish population with lots of holdovers and older fish that were well fed through the winter on shad in the high flows.   

Our other local favorite waters in the Knoxville area are just now starting to come alive for both trout and smallmouth as the tailwater flows from early spring are now moderating to fishable rates. IMG 1911Fishing is excellent, especially with some angler flexibility with the venue.IMG 1851


A huge thank you to all of our SEA friends and clients that have joined us on this special adventure down south over the past fifteen+ years. The trip to Chilean Patagonia has turned into an annual event. We will once again be hosting the lodge of Cinco Rios for the week of February 15-22, 2020. The upcoming season is going to be the year of the giant Cantaria beetle hatch in the local Paloma valley and the area around Coyhaique. If this isn’t reason enough to join us, here are a few more: highest standards for accommodations, guides, and fishing quality; extremely affordable compared to other world class fishing destinations; easy, safe travel; our winter is summertime in Patagonia; big brown trout on big dry flies; the camaraderie enjoyed by a fun loving group of individuals staying at the lodge. 

If you would like to start thinking about joining our group for February 2020, just give me a shout and we can lay great plans.

We have the entire lodge booked for this prime week and currently have six open slots we will be filling this month.

If you havent done this trip, it needs to be on your list.



It sure does seem like a long time since we have been able to get out on our local tailwaters. It is finally spring launch time on the Hiwassee river. After one of the longest rainy seasons on record, we can see the light...sunlight.  jpg

We began running the drift boats on the Hiwassee river a couple of weeks ago, still on high water, and the fishing has been good since the firstlaunch. Now the flow rates have been reduced to a low water schedule.  Being one of the high mountain reservoirs with a relatively small watershed, the Hiwassee usually becomes fishable before many of the other larger, lower elevation tailwaters. We look for them to fall into play very soon. Currently on the warm days, we can have good hatches of both mayflies and caddis.2

Our area trout have not seen any fishermen for months now and with moderate weather conditions ahead, this should be an excellent season. We are currently fishing the Hiwassee and Tellico rivers. I think the larger Knoxville area rivers will see reduced flows and become fishable within 2 weeks. As always, we are keeping our eye on the Cumberland for any spring windows of opportunity it may yield.

Here are a couple of photos from our recent Hiwassee adventures and the bottom pic is The Paloma River Valley in all its glory just outside of Coyhaique, Chile taken in February on our most recent Patagonia excursion.  We have a couple of remaining slots for this trip on February 15th-22nd, 2020.  4

As always, call or email. We are ready to go.

resized CumbyJune2 020I 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.resized IMG 20180807 192053

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.

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Skips Hiwassee Brown 2018An 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. IMG 0266

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.IMG 0727IMG 0725IMG 0274

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.