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Today, my friend Ernie and I worked on a fishing trip that would last for about 1/2 day and would have some short  float fishing attributes as well as some wade fishing possibilities mixed in. This trip would be a great one for people who did not have the time to spend on the water all day, and yet have great fishing territory to cover without taking too long to get to it. This trip proved to be extremely successful! We caught numbers of beautiful fish on both dry flies as well as emergers and Beadhead Nymphs. The fish were just feeding like crazy and we took many fish that ranged from 12-14in. We began drift fishing as soon as we pulled away from the bank, catching several as we went downstream. After floating about 1/2 mile, we pulled up on an island and got out to wade for awhile. There is approximately 1/4 mile of excellent wade fishing along the shore of this island and it is very easy wading. We just caught fish after fish. The feeding is non stop. After about 5 hours, we oared back up to our launch point and called it a day. A very successful day! We saw fish taking Caddis and emergers, along with Craneflies, and Lt. Cahills. If you feel like this type of trip would interest you, just contact us at:                                                    

May 16, 2006

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Boy, the dreary weather just seems to want to hold on, and on, and on!  WE JUST HAD TO GET OUT OF THE HOUSE AND GET OUR FEET INTO SOME WATER THAT HAD GOOD FISH IN IT! We drove up to the South Holston River this morning and got out of the car at the Weir Dam . We could not believe out eyes?? There were only two cars there in the parking lot and both of them were fishing at the Weir Gates. We had the whole river to ourselves! This long stretch of nasty weather has just put everyone inside.

  We walked down the river about 1/2 mile and started in a spot that has held good fish before. We could see fish rising and pretty soon Carolyn had a small brown on. Soon after releasing this one, she had another small one again. She moved on up the stream and caught a few that were medium sized. This continued for about 3 hours and she finally hooked a nice brown. The fish had been taking BWO emergers and an occasional Sulfur and the nice brown took a small brown softhackle. This fish took about 10 minutes to  get under control and really put up a great bulldog fight. Shortly after that, a short generation took place and we walked back to the car

After eating and rerigging, we walked back down to where we had stopped  before the burp began. The fish were really turned onto a Sulfur hatch that had started and I waded back out and started casting to rising fish. After about 3 casts a nice fish took a BWO emerger on a down stream drift. This fish really felt strong and after a sizzling run, he came out of the water in a beautiful jump. I could see that I had a very large brown and it really took a long time to wear him down. After about 12 minutes, we had him in hand, and photographed. The Sulfur hatch turned off and died out in a few minutes. Lots of casting produced a few more small ones and then we decided to call it a day. The weather was lousy but we caught a few nice fish. It was much better that being at home watching it rain.
If Carolyn or I can help with a guided wade or float trip, please contact us at:                                                      


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Tad Wheeler from Maryville, met with me on Friday morning and we made a trip to Paradise Creek to do an Advanced Nymphing Class. The waters have all been high in the Park on the Tennessee side, so we tried a SPRING CREEK, and really had a nice day. Tad fell right into line with his casting and mending skills and was catching fish from about the third hole and onward. We had some pretty cool temperatures for the middle of May and the wind was kind of rough at times. It didn't really matter, because the fish were cooperating nicely. If Tad was having any problem, it was hook set. This is usually the case when a person has switched over to tandem rig nymph fishing , without an indicator. Usually the person is a little hesitant to strike,  quickly enough, until they've had some experience on the stream. Tad had plenty of opportunities to redeem himself as we went up the creek. We had settled on a couple of nymphs that seemed to really be getting the fish's attention. They were really loving the Lt. Cahill Nymph and the Biot Bodied Cahill Nymph. They also seemed to be lying in fast water.
Tad was really having a time. There were some places that he was catching 5-6 fish out of the same run. It was almost as fast as he could throw a fly in the water. He told me that he had a great day and had learned a lot. He also said that he wanted to get into some nice Smallmouth with a flyrod. We'll have to check into that real soon as the water gets warmer. It was a good, rewarding day, and I look forward to fishing with him again soon.

 If Carolyn or I can help with a guided trip or with flies, just contact us at:                                                    

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Carolyn, Boomer, and I went up to the South Holston River yesterday morning and began our fishing adventure on the Big Springs Road section. We were trying a new CDC Sulfur ComPara Dun pattern and we dropped a Blackbird Deerhair Emerger underneath that. The fish did not show signs of feeding at first, but as went fished on up the river, the action became more intense. It took about an hour to get to the top of the run and the fish were feeding pretty heavy by that time. I hooked or missed several fish and one was 20 in. or better. The last fish that I hooked took the Sulfur and immediately ran like a streak to the other side of the river. It found a rock ledge and sliced my leader like it was candy.

We got out of the water and rerigged our rods and decided to go up to the section downstream from the Weir Dam. We still had the Sulfur Compara Duns on and we caught several small browns as we moved back up stream. I had just gotten out of the water and gone over to the bank to sit with Boomer when the water started coming up. This ended our day and we came back home. It was good to be back on this fine tailwater. I look forward to seeing the Sulfurs hatching real heavily.

If Carolyn or I can help you with a guided wade trip or a float trip, please contact us at:                                                          


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Carolyn and I finally got a little more time to spend with our new drift boat and this trip was on the Holston River. We floated from Indian Cave to Nances Ferry and the trip got started at about 11:00AM. We saw lots of fish feeding from the parking area that overlooks the river and some of them looked very nice in size. I last floated this section with Sean Peterson in the late winter or very early spring. The fish were running about 8-10in. in length. You can see the size of the fish now and just how much they have grown. The average size now is about 12-14 in. and they are full of fight.

We took our new Golden Lab on this trip and about halfway down the river, we met another dog standing on the river bank that followed us for almost two miles down river. We finally pulled over to a spot and let the two of them play together for about 1/2 hour. While they were playing, I waded out below a shoal and caught a few more fish. It seemed like they were feeding everywhere,  yesterday. There were Caddis , Crane flies and Lt. Cahills hatching in good numbers. I also saw a fly that looked like Pale Evening Duns. The fish seem to have an inexhaustible supply of food and they have put on phenomenal growth. This has been a stream that is fishable, even while many of the mountain streams were too high or muddy. It has good wading and good float fishing characteristics.

We ended up the day arriving at Nances Ferry just as it was getting dark. It had been a great time on the water. The new drifter had performed nicely and the fish had cooperated well. I look forward to getting the new boat back in the water soon and learning more about handling it under different conditions.

If Carolyn or I can help with a guided float trip, or wade trip, please contact us at:                                                               


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Carolyn and I always like to fish Beaverdam Creek when the green drake hatch is taking place, but because of being busy and also because of high water, we were a little late in getting up there this year. It almost looked like we were a little early because the foliage was not even out on the trees yet and the season appeared to be behind the lower parts of the Valley. Anyway, we made our little trek up there today and we took our new Golden Labrador with us to see how he like being around the water. He followed along like a champ and we were very proud of him.
"I realized after writing this report that we were early for the Green Drake Hatch on Beaverdam Creek. I looked back at other years of fishing this stream and saw that the hatch has traditionally been taking place from the 15-20th of May. I had just seen the Green Drake hatch on Abrams Creek and it took place much earlier than the one in Shady Valley. We still have this one to look forward to and they are only about 100 miles apart."

I was able to hook the first fish and he was a nice rainbow taken on the Smoky Mountain Blackbird Softhackle. He measured out at 12 inches. Carolyn took the next fish and he was even larger. A nice 14 inch brown that also took the Blackbird. We caught a few more small ones and decided to run back down to the South Holston River and see if it had cleared up. It looked like it was in good shape when we arrived and we walked down from the Weir Dams and began with Sulfurs and Creme Midges. We caught a few small to medium sized fish and while we were both in the river, our new Golden Lab made his first swim out to us in the river. He is 14 weeks old now and swam like it was something that he had done for years.

The water is still pretty cold in that river and it will be a little while before the Sulfur hatches begin in earnest. Please remember that we have a new drift boat and if we can help with a wade trip or a drift trip on any of the upper East Tn Tailwaters, please  contact us at:                                                     

APRIL 27, 2006

Kenny and Nalani Fry had come up to Cades Cove from Florida and were camping at the Cades Cove Campground. We met with them on Thursday morning at the Abrams Falls Trailhead. Just the day before, we had, had  some very heavy rain. All the creeks were running full and we were really concerned that we might have to forego this trip. After introductions, we walked downstream and decided that we could fish some selected pools, if we were careful. We rigged both of the couples rods with tandem rigs of nymphs and Smoky Mountain Blackbird Softhackle flies. On one rig we used a strike indicator and on the other we did not use anything. We wanted to try heavily weighted flies and have them dredge the bottom so we could tell just which way the fish were feeding best. The rig with the  strike indicator was set to fish thru the middle levels of the stream. In the first section that we fished, it was apparent that the fish were taking flies at all levels. It was also apparent that they all were hitting the Smoky Mountain Blackbird Softhackle. We fished farther downstream until lunch time and went back to the cars and after lunch, we decided to try Anthony Creek. We had not seen any flies hatching off during this time on the stream.

Anthony Creek is notorious for it's  spooky fish and I knew it would be a challenge for this couple to have any success on. Since the creek was high and discolored, I felt that they would have their best chance right now to catch some fish. To my surprise, both parties did have some luck and after 3 hours of really hard work at presentations, they were both successful at bringing in fish.

It was now getting on into the evening and we thought that the creeks had run down enough to walk back down the Abrams Falls Trail and fish back over some spots that we had not tried earlier in the day. The creek had gone down somewhat and was clearer now. It was about 5:30PM and we started seeing some flies hatching off as we got back into the water. Kenny and Nalani both began to catch fish and we moved back upstream with the insect activity getting heavier all the time. By the time we reached the confluence of Mill Creek and Anthony Creek a very heavy hatch was taking place. Kenny stood in one spot and caught 11 fish and missed just as many strikes. Nalani was in the hole just below him catching her share of fish also. All of these fish had taken the Smoky Mountain Blackbird Softhackle. We watched several types of insects hatching off. There were Pink Hendricksons, Quill Gordons, Tan Caddis, Yellow Stoneflies, Green Drakes, and Yellow Mayflies by the scores filling the air. Kenny said the he had never seen such a nice hatch.

The couple ended the day that had started out rough, with pretty good success.  Both anglers showed quite a bit of skill while handling the flyrod. I wanted them to know that previous training had showed up today and I commended them for working hard on their skills while we were on the stream. It paid off well for them on this day. It was great to get to fish with Kenny and Nalani and I hope to get to meet them again on the stream.

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If Carolyn or I can help with a guided trip or with the flies that were used, please contact us at:


APRIL 25, 2006

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Dr. Dan Rupp came down from his home in Iowa last week to visit the Smokies and we made a valiant effort to try to get between the thunderstorms and do some early Spring fishing. He had been used to doing most of his fishing with dry flies and since the water was high in the Park, we decided to try the Holston River at Nances Ferry. When we arrived at the Ferry it was right in the middle of a thunderstorm and lots of lightening . We gave it a few minutes to pass over and got out in the water to see if we could match the Tan Caddis that were hatching off. This did not turn out to be a good location so we went back to the Park and began fishing the Middle Prong of Little River with the Smoky Mountain Blackbird Softhackle. This was Dann's first time at trying this method of fishing and he was having a hard time getting his timing just right when he was getting strikes. We worked on this for most of the day and after awhile he began to connect, but in every hookup he had, it turned out to be Long Distance Releases. 

While we were fishing just below the Tremont Institute, a bird about the size of a quail flew over to me and began making a strange loud noise. It even wanted me to pet it. I took several pictures of the bird and asked different people if they knew what type of bird it was. The answers varied but some thought it was an immature Wilson's Snipe. You can enlarge the photos and see some beautiful feathers. It was a strange and exciting experience being allowed so close to a wild creature.

We did not have a great day, but it was an enjoyable one and it was great to spend some time on the stream with Dr. Dan Rupp. I hope that he learned some things while we were out together that will stay with him for some time to come. He was a great gentleman and I hope that I get to see him in the Park again sometime.

If Carolyn or I can help with a guided trip or flies, please contact us at:                                                

We almost did not get to finish this trip! I met with Milan Turk and his son, Milan Jr. at the Y on Little River during a pouring thunderstorm. It looked so bad with the heavy lightning and small hail, that we just decided it was unsafe to try to do the trip. Both of us went back to Little River Outfitters and I was in there for almost an hour talking and buying tying supplies. When I walked outside I met both of them again and they were saying it had cleared enough to give it a try. We went back up to Metcalf Bottoms and began to work on Casting and mending techniques. It did not take long to see that both men had enough proficiency to start fishing. It seemed like the thunderstorms had stopped all the insect hatches but they were getting occasional strikes. There were several people fishing this area so we moved downstream and started at another place. The fellas caught a few small fish, but they weather seemed to have caused the barometric pressure to drop drastically. This is never good for fishing. Everyone was enjoying just being out on the river and the mountains are beginning to come alive. We fished thru the afternoon but the fish really had shut down. They were great fellas to be on the stream with and hopefully, they will catch better weather conditions another time. This will be a reminder to all who love to be on the stream at just how the drop in barometric pressure can affect the trout. They will go to the bottom and  move very little for food until the pressure starts to rise again. We hope that we can help you with a guided trip or with flies. To contact us, please click on the links.                                                        

APRIL 18, 2006


Dr. Travis Burt and I have been conversing back and forth thru most of the Winter and early Spring about doing an Advanced Nymphing Class. Travis has read many articles about nymphing techniques in Europe. Different stories have been written about the methods and the flies that were being used were shown and discussed to great length in Flyfishing magazines and on the Internet. The Polish Nymphing technique, the Czech Nymphs and their method of fishing them, the Spanish Nymphing methods are also on the front of the magazines. Today, on April the 18th, we got a chance to compare the methods that have been handed down here in the Southeastern Appalachians. We went to Abrams Creek and walked down the trail about 1/2 mile and started with Travis using a Biot Bodied Cahill for the point fly and a version of the Czech Nymph for the dropper. We started fishing at the back of a run in a deep pool but nothing seemed to be feeding at this part of the hole. He moved on up closer to the head of the pool and began to take fish from two different runs that were pouring in. We worked some on methods and moved on up the stream and real soon we started seeing large Green Drakes hatching off. Travis was an easy study because he had quite a bit of fishing experience. He worked hard at perfecting some of the methods that I showed him an is actually quite an accomplished angler himself. He was a pleasure to watch and fish with. I actually felt like their were things that he could show me. We finished his day up in the middle of the afternoon because of another class he was to attend later that day. I enjoyed being on the water with him and hopefully, I'll get to fish with him another time.

If Carolyn or I can help with a guide trip or with flies, Please contact us at:


Hugh and I had the privilege of giving flycasting lessons today to Barbara and Donn Davis from Punta Gorda, Florida.  We met at Metcalf Bottoms in the morning.  Barb and Donn are just beginning to learn flycasting.  I worked with Barb, and Hugh taught Donn.  We went over the correct fishing preparations, tying the Pitzen knot, reading the water for where the fish are, the correct method of casting for dry flies, then nymph fishing, and some of the flies that were hatching.  Little Yellow Sallies were hatching, as well as the Brown Stonefly and Quill Gordons.

Barb and Donn worked very hard at practicing all the techniques that we went over and by the early afternoon, they were casting beautifully.  Many people pulled over and took a picture of them.  I day of

The Davis' are looking for property to buy in the Townsend area and plan moving here after retirement.
We would like to wish this super-nice couple a safe trip home and all of the very best for the future.

God Bless,


If Hugh or I could help you with flycasting lessons or a trip, you may contact us @:                                                              


What a day to take a few hours off from the fly tying bench and see how the home waters were doing! Ernie Roberts and I had planned to go together but some home duties held him up at the last minute. It was a gorgeous day to be on the water and the Holston River is my home territory. I arrived on the stream at about 1:30:PM and the fish were just tearing the water up. I was already rigged with a Copper Bodied Nymph and a Beadhead Hares Ear Midge as a dropper. It seemed like the fish were jumping on the Hares Ear Midge every time that I cast. I moved a little higher on the river and the fish got larger. I have watched as the fish grew from 8 inch newly stocked hatchery fish in November, to 13-14 in. fish that now can really put a bend into a rod and make you think that you've got a 18in. fish on. The fish are strong and chunky and ready to go airborn instantly. The daily surges of water from generation schedules seem to make very strong fish, along with a diet of more insects than can be found in any tailwater. In two months, these fish will be all that you can handle on a 5wt. and 6X tippet. I just marveled at the beauty of the river and all the surrounding countyside as I fished. The Redbuds and Dogwoods are in bloom and the sun was just brilliant overhead all afternoon.

I thought about how I would like to bring my new Golden Lab along with me real soon so he can enjoy the water. His name is Boomer, and you will be seeing more of him as the summer goes along. We've had him for one week now, and he is a handful!

You can look at the river here and see what a pleasure it is to fish and yet, see all of the beauty so close all around you. If Carolyn or I can help you with a guide trip to this fantastic place, or with the flies that you will need, just contact us at:                                                               

Last year, Scott Butler and I made a trip to Brookie Country and again this year we were trying out new water. We looked at all the streams on the Tennessee side of the mountain and we felt like Abrams Creek would be our best choice. It has been a rough season thus far just trying to catch a day that the water is not too high or too cold. We have barely had more than 2 days that we could count on good fishing conditions. This was the third trip that I've made to the Park recently and the water has been real cold on all occasions. This makes the hatches be unreliable and causes the fish to not want to feed on top at all. Today started out with fish taking dry flies as well as nymphs fished in a tandem rig setup. Scott had just bought a new 2wt. rod and wanted to give it a maiden tryout. I brought along my 4wt. with a tandem rig setup of a nymph and a Smoky Mountain Blackbird Softhackle for a dropper. The nymph setup seemed to produce most of the fish but there were occasions that a Quill Gordon was getting their attention. The problem was that most of the fish were small. The fact that they were taking nymphs and that all the fish were small was telling me that the water temps were pretty cold. We knew that we only had a limited time to fish on Friday because bad weather was heading toward us. We saw quite a few Quill Gordons hatching off and lots of Brown Stoneflies while we were on the stream but we didn't have the action on top like we would have liked to seen. The end of our fishing day came about as the weather began to show signs of turning bad. Maybe the oncoming frontal system had caused us some bad luck as well. Scott was very adept at switching back and forth from dries on a 2wt to double rigged nymphs from one section to the next. I'm sure that this gave him some good experience for the upcoming Summer. I really liked the feel of his new 2wt. rod and  I know that he's going to enjoy it on some brookie streams this Summer. We have another trip planned for later this year, so wish us both luck as the Summer approaches. It was great getting to fish with Scott again.

If Carolyn or I can help with a guided trip or flies for the Smokies, just contact us at :`                                                          


Phone Number:  423-586-6198 or



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