It 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. The 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. Fishing is excellent, especially with some angler flexibility with the venue.
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.
VIDEO LINK: http://vimeo.com/63275962
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.
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.
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.
As always, call or email. We are ready to go.
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.