Fishing Reports for The Smoky Mountains
And East Tennessee Tail waters


About Us Articles Articles - Page 2 Advanced Nymph Fishing Classes Home
Dry Flies Nymphs and Emergers Nymphs and 
Emergers - Page 2
Wet Flies/Soft Hackle Flies Tailwater Trout Flies
Realistic Flies Tailwaters Hatch Charts Smoky Mountain 
Hatch Charts
Fly Tying Tutorials
Flycasting Lessons
Wet Flies/Soft
Hackle Classes
Reports Resources Bleached and Dyed
Starling Feathers
Gift Set
Top Tailwater Trout Flies
Gift Set
Top Smoky Mountain
Dry Flies
Gift Set
Top Smoky Mountain


Reports 1-13 have been deleted due to website disc space

Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18
Page 19 Page 20

Page 21

Page 22 Page 23

Page 24

Page 25

Page 26

Page 27



JULY 3, 2006 Taking a Serious Look At All The Tailwaters
and Happy 6 Months Birthday to our Love, Boomer
Carolyn, Boomer, and I made another trip down the Holston River below Cherokee Dam. We have been evaluating this river and it's ability to grow fish all of this year. I have mentioned several times about how the fish grow at the rate of about 2 inches per month. We have fished the Clinch River, the South Holston River, the Watauga River, and the Holston River a number of times to make comparisons. The fish that were first stocked in the river were about 8 inches long and they were placed in there during the month of November, 2005. Later stockings were made in the early part of 2006 and again in the late Spring. These fish were even smaller. We have talked about the huge amount of food that is available to the fish and how we watched and documented the fish growing from 8 in. to 10 in. and then to 12- 14 in. as the season progressed. We are now to the point of time in the year that we feel like we can make an honest comparison of all these rivers that we have mentioned and say:  The Holston River below Cherokee Dam is producing the finest sized fish of all the rivers that we have visited. We know that any of the other rivers can produce some very large fish at given times, but the Holston River has the ability to give up the largest number of fish in the 15-16 inch range on a daily basis than any of the others. It also has the ability to produce fish in the 20-30 in. range to a lesser extent, because a few fish have survived the warm waters of last Fall and are now showing a huge size. I have had several people to ask me when would be the best time to fish this river or the South Holston River, during this Summer? My answer is, (we have reached that stage now!) These fish are so big and strong right now that they can almost spool you on a single run. Any fish is going to make several jumps, and if you will look at one  of the pictures that I accidentally caught, of a fish making one of these jumps, you will see just how strong and powerful they are. We invite you to get in on this great opportunity to float this river and combine wading and floating at it's best. Because of generation schedules, we may only get a 1/2 day trip in, but it will be one that is action packed.

Please contact us more information about these great trips at:                      

JUNE 29, 2006 The Blackbird At It's Finest on the Davidson River
The Blackbird on the Davidson River 004.jpg (261961 bytes) The Blackbird on the Davidson River 005.jpg (132117 bytes) The Blackbird on the Davidson River 006.jpg (115030 bytes) The Blackbird on the Davidson River 007.jpg (93029 bytes)
The Blackbird on the Davidson River 008.jpg (139929 bytes) The Blackbird on the Davidson River 009.jpg (109195 bytes) The Blackbird on the Davidson River 010.jpg (131076 bytes) The Blackbird on the Davidson River 011.jpg (194873 bytes)
Carolyn and I had a free day so we decided to run over to the Davidson River and try the Blackbird out on a really tough technical stream. We love to go over there because it is beautiful country and we love trying the Blackbird out under the toughest of conditions to show the public just how good it really is. Tough conditions would be an under statement right now. The creek is low and the pressure from other fishermen, as well as tubers is enough to try the best  fly fisherman's  last nerve and skill. It took a while to just find a short stretch that wasn't already being fished and the water was flat and very skinny. That is probably why noone else was there. We tied on a Biot Bodied Cahill nymph and then placed a Blackbird about 14in. under the top fly. We started catching fish in just a minute, and they did not stop. One fish after another succumbed to the allure of the Blackbird and it seemed like they were hitting on almost every cast. We had to keep Boomer on a leash, so I let Carolyn fish until she caught one or two and then we would switch duties and she would hold onto Boomer while I fished. We caught so many that I lost count and part of the time, we would be fishing right behind someone else. After lunch, the invasion started. The tubers just flocked to the water and there was no place left to fish. We left in the early afternoon  and we felt like that we had enjoyed a great day of fishing. We hope that you enjoy seeing just what the Smoky Mountain Blackbird can do on a really tough stream and if we can help you with any of these flies or a guided trip, please contact us at:
Smoky Mountain Blackbird Softhackle.jpg (49825 bytes)  Biot Bodied Cahill.jpg (78517 bytes)                                            

I met with Marc Elder in Gatlinburg this morning and we headed for Little River thru intermittent showers. The weather was to be a factor that just finally overwhelmed us, but not before we got in some fine fishing. We started, as I always do, at the Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area doing some work on casting and mending skills. Marc was a little bit rusty but some continued work and instruction began to show that he was ready to hit the stream. We moved upstream and tried a Stimulator at first to no avail. Marc was a dry fly man so we wanted to give it a shot. There was not a single fish that showed itself. We tied a single Smoky Mountain Blackbird Softhackle on and within 6-8 cast, he had his first strike. Marc was having trouble recognizing the soft takes of a trout. After 3 more missed strikes, he had his first brown on. He was ecstatic! He brought the fish up to him and before he could get his hands on it, it flipped off. This seemed to be what the fish were looking for so he continued to work some adjacent water. In just a few more casts, he had another brown on. This one was bigger and it wasn't giving up too easily. After a few minutes of playing the fish, he had a LDR. We did not get the camera out today because of the weather. The rain was picking up so we moved back to the car looking like a couple of drowned rats. Marc wasn't minding it thou, he had been catching fish. We got into the car and drove down to Tremont and the rain was light there. That was not to last long and we just decided to stay with it in the rain. Marc hooked another very nice fish pretty quickly and it made a jump or two and came off. He was having fun but the rain was coming down in sheets now. We were absolutely soaked to the bone and cold, but we keep on fishing. In a few minutes we came to a large hole and  MARC HOOKED A NICE RAINBOW! This one was landed and he was all smiles. We fished on a little longer without a dry thread and finally called it a day. After a trip to LROs to get a dry shirt, we drove back to Gatlinburg and said our goodbyes. It was the toughest  of conditions , but a pretty good day for a new flyfisherman. I want to thank Marc for allowing me to guide him and I hope that he finds some better conditions as the week progresses. I also want to thank the Blackbird for coming thru for us.                                         

Smoky Mountain Blackbird Softhackle.jpg (49825 bytes)

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

Ron Sticinski taking an Advanced Nymphing Class 001.jpg (216830 bytes) Ron Sticinski taking an Advanced Nymphing Class 002.jpg (82974 bytes) Ron Sticinski taking an Advanced Nymphing Class 003.jpg (184938 bytes) Ron Sticinski taking an Advanced Nymphing Class 004.jpg (126089 bytes) Ron Sticinski taking an Advanced Nymphing Class 005.jpg (154244 bytes)

Ron Sticinski from Vienna, Virginia, met with me at his cabin in Pigeon Forge on Friday. We started the trip out by stopping at Metcalf Bottoms to check out casting and mending skills, as I always do. We have been up against the toughest conditions all of this week because of low water and high temperatures. The only time that the fish seem to be feeding at this altitude is early in the morning and late in the evening. The water temperatures have risen so high that it was even tough that morning. Ron was a true sport and stayed right with the fishing, even though the strikes did not come easily. This did give us a chance to work on proper techniques. We moved higher on the creek in a few minutes and Ron was able to connect with a few. The conditions were deteriorating so badly that I was even having a tough time at getting fish to hit. I try to do some fishing when it looks like they are turning off, or the client is not having any luck. This gives a client the benefit of my experience to help find out what they might be taking. I did not get any fish myself. 

We took a break and had lunch and then went to Little River Outfitters to show Ron what a fine flyshop that it really is. While we were there, Byron gave us some advise about where to try next and we wound up at my favorite stream--Abrams Creek. We only caught one or two more fish after fishing very hard thru the afternoon and early evening. We began to hear thunder and since both of us were tired, we called it a day. It takes a pretty dedicated flyfisherman to stay with the pursuit, under the tough conditions that we've had this week. Fish were caught, and a good time was had! That's what it is all about. As we were leaving, the rain began to fall and today the water levels are up in Little River as well as the water temps dropping. Things are getting back to normal. Let's hope that Ron had a few good hours on the stream today.

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

Ed Ulmer in an Advanced Nymphing Class 001.jpg (129501 bytes) Ed Ulmer in an Advanced Nymphing Class 003.jpg (233199 bytes) Ed Ulmer in an Advanced Nymphing Class 004.jpg (148053 bytes)
Ed Ulmer in an Advanced Nymphing Class 005.jpg (187229 bytes) Ed Ulmer in an Advanced Nymphing Class 006.jpg (165959 bytes) Ed Ulmer in an Advanced Nymphing Class 007.jpg (171745 bytes)
I met with Ed Ulmer from Meridian, Mississippi on Wednesday at Metcalf Bottoms and we began a Nymphing class in some very tough weather conditions. It was over 90 degrees on this day and the streams were getting low and very clear. The fish were feeding as we got into the water and some feeding activity took place until about 11:00 AM. Ed was a familiar with the Park and it's waters so we just needed to work on a few things that plague most of us as we progress along in the flyfishing world. Ed cast and mended quite well, and even though there were some problems with timing, he was catching a lot of fish. The feeding activity turned off for us on this part of the stream so we  decided to get some lunch. After spending some time at LROs, we decided to go back upstream toward the cooler water in the Elkmont area. The fish were feeding pretty well at this elevation and Ed was catching fish on a regular basis. Our biggest problem as the day wore on, was tubers. It caused us to move to several different spots on the river, but all to no avail. After a short time again in Metcalf Bottoms, we called it a day. I guess you have to share the stream with all the people for all kinds of uses. Ed finished the day with lots of fish to his credit and was great fun to fish with. I hope the class, last in his memory for years to come, and makes his future fishing times be even greater.

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

John and Ben Hammond.jpg (99312 bytes)
If you've ever wanted to meet the "ultimate Father and Son team", just look at this handsome  pair of flyfishermen from Cincinnati. I met with them on Tuesday morning at Metcalf Bottoms and what a delightful time we had. John, the Father, had a little bit more recent experience than Ben and it proved to be a little bit easier start for him. I think I just confused Ben with my instruction and it sure smoothed out in a few minutes after we got started fishing farther up the stream. He became more confident with his casting and mending as we moved along and I think he felt pretty comfortable by the early afternoon. The feeding just turned off after the sun got too strong on the water, so we decided to take a lunch break and then we moved up high on the mountain to brookie water. The streams were even crowded up there and after I saw that the fish were feeding, I called it a day and left them to pursue the Jewel of the Smokies. I want to say, that they were probably one of the nicest  Father and Son teams that I have ever had the opportunity to guide. I had a chance to see them again the next day at Little River Outfitters and I took the picture that you see at the top of the report. I ask you, is this not the greatest treasure that God can offer to parenting?


If Carolyn or I can help you with a guided trip to the Smokies, just contact us at:                                       

A day on Little River with a Blackbird 001.jpg (93448 bytes) A day on Little River with a Blackbird 002.jpg (171015 bytes) A day on Little River with a Blackbird 003.jpg (152644 bytes) A day on Little River with a Blackbird 005.jpg (170369 bytes) A day on Little River with a Blackbird 004.jpg (206581 bytes)
I have missed getting to fish in the Park for several weeks now and I was really looking forward to getting back on one of my favorite streams this morning. This is the beginning of the perfect time of the year for fishing the tandem rigged nymph system. This special time will continue for the rest of the year. It is about time for the Isonychia Mayfly and the Giant Golden Stonefly to begin hatching. These two flies together cause a trout to lose his head and feed in a frenzy down deep. The stream levels have dropped and what a great time to hit bigger water like the East Prong of Little River or Abrams Creek. On the North Carolina side, the Oconaluftee River, Deep Creek, Bradley Fork and Forney Creek. It really felt good to get out in the stream without waders today and not have a fear that you were going to lose your footing because the water was too swift.

Right away I started catching nice 8-10 in.  wild rainbows and they are full of spunk. One after the other , almost as fast as I could throw my fly out---Wham! They sure do love that Smoky Mountain Blackbird Softhackle. Occasionally, I would hook a nicer fish in the 10-12in. range and I could feel the strength. I was fishing a nice deep run on the far side of the stream that had lots of big rocks to give cover and I had let the flies drift by me and as I started to pick the flies up and cast again, a large fish grabbed the Blackbird and I did not get a good hookset, so I set it one more time. The fish was really showing some size and the reel was zinging. I was still leery about whether the hook would hold and after a few strong runs I could see that I had a large rainbow on and it looked like it was in the 15-17 in. range. I played the fish for a couple of more minutes and then the hook just pulled out. This fish and another that looked to be about 12 in. were my best fish for the day. I made a trip to LROs and fished for a couple of more hours  with 8-10 more  fish. It felt great to get in the stream and fish the nymph setup today. For all of you that love to nymph fish, this is a great time right now. Call and get your names on our schedule and see how productive this technique is. You have never fished a fly that will produce like the Smoky Mountain Blackbird Softhackle. If you would like to schedule a trip or buy some of these fantastic flies, just contact us at:                                            

Smoky Mountain Blackbird Softhackle.jpg (49825 bytes)                                      

JUNE 10, 2006 My best day on the Holston River below Cherokee Dam
Carolyn' largest rainbow from the Holston River-6-10-2006 001.jpg (126860 bytes) Carolyn' largest rainbow from the Holston River-6-10-2006 002.jpg (144656 bytes) Carolyn' largest rainbow from the Holston River-6-10-2006 003.jpg (149660 bytes) Carolyn' largest rainbow from the Holston River-6-10-2006 006.jpg (152642 bytes)
Carolyn' largest rainbow from the Holston River-6-10-2006 007.jpg (160475 bytes) Carolyn' largest rainbow from the Holston River-6-10-2006 005.jpg (138445 bytes) Carolyn' largest rainbow from the Holston River-6-10-2006 004.jpg (114932 bytes) Carolyn' largest rainbow from the Holston River-6-10-2006 009.jpg (155932 bytes)
Today was a day for Hugh and me to get some more time in the new drift boat and to use the new trolling motor. Little did I know that it would turn out to be an eventful day for me. We left the launch site at about 8:30 in the morning and started drifting down stream with Boomer riding at the helm. He has taken to the water like a duck and seems to love it, except when we want to give him a bath??? THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF HEAVY GENERATION FOR AT LEAST A WEEK AND SOMETIMES THAT CAUSES THE FISH TO SLOW DOWN IN THEIR FEEDING ON TOP. We did not see too much feeding activity as we moved down stream and after drifting for awhile, we stopped at a set of shoals, where we got out and started wading. I had tied on an Olive CDC and Elk with a dropper and when I walked over to start casting, I saw a fish feeding pretty far out in the river. I waded out a short distance and cast toward him and the fly fell short because of some breeze that was blowing. I allowed the fly to drift for a minute and up came a large fish that I had not even seen feeding. There was a big swirl around the fly and I set the hook----- an explosion took place and the fish was all over the water. I hollered at Hugh, who was down below me, and he said that he could see the fish just tearing the water up. He already had his fly in the water and he hooked a fish at the same time. We had a double going and I had a fish on that I wasn't sure that I could handle. He kept hollering at me asking if it was a real big one and I kept saying that it was huge. There was deep water between us and we were having a hard time trying to get to where he could help me, since he was playing a fish also. We both kept working toward one another as the fish tired and finally Boomer decided to swim out and help. That really complicated things. He was bound and determined to catch the fish and the fish was not about to stay in one place. I finally got him to leave the water and he went down and swam out to Hugh, where he was playing his fish. Hugh had the camera out and took a picture of it. Hugh and Boomer and the fish were all tangled up and he finally got him loose so that he could release the fish. After all that struggle, I finally got the one I was playing close enough for Hugh to get a good close-up of. Hugh said that it was the biggest rainbow that he had seen taken from the Holston River in several years.

We fished on for several hours catching and releasing several more fish but the first one was to be the highlight of the day.  We took out at about 2:30 and we were exhausted from the 92 degree day. I had a great time and I will remember this fish for sometime to come.

Carolyn                                                                                                        CDC and Elk.jpg (56669 bytes)

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

JUNE 6,2006 A LITTLE BIT OF HUMOR!...........
June 6, 2006_South Holston_5.jpg (293306 bytes) June 6, 2006_South Holston_4.jpg (224157 bytes) June 6, 2006_South Holston_3.jpg (227832 bytes) June 6, 2006_South Holston.jpg (190147 bytes) June 6, 2006_South Holston_2.jpg (125362 bytes)
CAROLYN  and I have been working with our new Golden Lab trying to teach him early in life, some of the fine points of pointing, retrieving, and surrendering birds,  as well as spying out big brown trout in the stream. Today was one of his finest moments, so far. As you can see in the first picture, he was sitting on the bank looking out over the stream trying to spot a big brown. While I was fishing  a few yards out from him, he came out into the water, climbed up on a rock and barked to let me know that he had spotted a nice brown trout. You can clearly see in the picture that he was looking right toward it. Well, I moved back a few steps and cast right over the spot a couple of times with a Sulfur Compara Dun. Lo and behold, up came this beautiful fish and practically swallowed my fly. I set the hook and the battle was on for 10-12 minutes. When I landed the fish, I held it up for Boomer's approval. While all this was taking place, Carolyn was taking pictures of it all so that everyone would believe that we have a retriever that points out brown trout. The fish sure was beautiful also.
I hope that you enjoyed the fish and the humor.


Sulfur Comparadun.jpg (55481 bytes) 

Hugh and Carolyn on the Holston River-6-3-2006 007.jpg (144883 bytes) Hugh and Carolyn on the Holston River-6-3-2006 002.jpg (145628 bytes) Hugh and Carolyn on the Holston River-6-3-2006 001.jpg (208028 bytes)
Hugh and Carolyn on the Holston River-6-3-2006 003.jpg (206565 bytes) Hugh and Carolyn on the Holston River-6-3-2006 005.jpg (227356 bytes) Hugh and Carolyn on the Holston River-6-3-2006 006.jpg (237263 bytes) Hugh and Carolyn on the Holston River-6-3-2006 005.jpg (227356 bytes) Hugh and Carolyn on the Holston River-6-3-2006 008.jpg (189232 bytes)
I bought a new Minn Kota Trolling motor for the drift boat this week and I took it down to the Holston River to try it out and found out that it works just fine. We motored down to the first set of shoals and Carolyn fished while I got a little bit of stick time with the new motor. We did not have plans to go any farther than the shoals so we got out and did a little bit of wade fishing. I had tied up a few dark mottled brown Caddis and some Green Caddis Emergers. Man, did I get into some fish. They absolutely ate the Caddis Emerger up! I was catching 14-15 in. fish on almost every cast. Carolyn sat in the boat and took pictures and could not believe how some of the fish would run completely across the river before I could get them to slow down. These fish were absolutely smashing my fly and almost spooling me every time that I hooked one. I was out in the water up to my straddle and it was so cold that I was numb. I couldn't believe what a fantastic day I was having on the river. All in all, I must have caught close to 20 fish without moving more than 20 feet. Some were long distance releases, but they were still fun. All the fish were about the same size--14-15 inches. Where else could you do this and not even travel one mile. It was a piece of cake going back to the launch ramp with the new motor. I think that I'm going to like it!

If Carolyn or I can help with a guide drift trip or with flies, just contact us at:                                                Green Caddis Emerger.jpg (70476 bytes)

June 2, 2006 Bill Zafiaru and Kelly Dimitris in the GSMNP
Zoders Best Western- Gatlinburg.jpg (227422 bytes) Bill and Kelly Zafirau in the GSMNP 002.jpg (237431 bytes) Bill and Kelly Zafirau in the GSMNP 003.jpg (167277 bytes) Bill and Kelly Zafirau in the GSMNP 004.jpg (149551 bytes)

Carolyn and I met with Bill Zafiaru and Kelly Dimitris, from Akron Ohio on Friday Morning at Zoders Best Western Motel in Gatlinburg. This was our first time to be at Zoders and it sure was a picturesque setting as you can see in the first photograph. Bill and Kelly are both Doctors, working in two separate fields. They were a delightful couple and they kept us laughing all the time, because they have such a great sense of humor.

 We began our day by driving over to Little River from Gatlinburg and the wildlife was just about as plentiful along the way as being in Cades Cove. We were stopping every few minutes to take pictures of some animal or bird. We arrived at Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area and we began the class by giving instructions about casting and mending techniques to each one. I started with Bill out in the stream and Carolyn began with Kelly in a grassy section in the picnic grounds and then moved into the stream. When Bill and I first walked down to the waters edge, we could see Crane Flies hatching off and the fish were feeding. Bill's casting  began to smooth out in just a few minutes and he began to get strikes. That old nemisis, (timing) was giving him a slight problem, on hookset. It is almost always the case when someone encounters wild fish. They just can't fathom how fast these wild fish really are, and it takes a while to get your reaction time down to the right speed. In a few minutes, he had his first fish.

Since Kelly had never flyfished, it took a little bit more time to get things smoothed out and we worked with her for a few minutes longer. Then, she pulled an old trick out of her hat ! While working to get her line straightened out, she allowed the fly to drag in the current, behind her. Without noticing what was happening, a very nice fish came up and grabbed the fly at about the time that she started to cast. This really turned into a whooping splashing contest between Kelly and the fish. It made a wild run to one side of the creek and came out of the water throwing itself sideways which caused all of us to give some whoops of (hang on girl) to her. It was a real comical site to see the look of (I can't believe I have caught a fish) on Kelly's face. The fight was a great one, but the fish was just too strong and it pulled free. The excitement of the encounter lasted for the rest of the trip and gave us a moment of hilarity to go back to from time to time.

As the day went on, thunderstorms began to move into the area and we moved from one stream to another dodging them.  The lightening was pretty bad so we did not try to stay out in them. We finished the day at about 4:30 when it began to rain again and all seemed to have had a fun filled time. We truly had a great time being with a couple who enjoyed the sport so much and enjoyed being with each other. We hope to see them again sometime and wish them well in their careers.

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

Stimulator.jpg (73382 bytes)


MAY 31,2006 The Nolichucky River And Surrounding Area Interests
May 31, 2006_Launch site at the Nolichucky River.jpg (252009 bytes) May 31, 2006_The Nolichucky River.jpg (156168 bytes) May 31, 2006_The Bible Covered Bridge in Greene County.jpg (103016 bytes) May 31, 2006_The Bible Covered Bridge in Greene County_3.jpg (183684 bytes)
May 31, 2006_The Covered Bridge in Greene County.jpg (174930 bytes) May 31, 2006_Boomer at the Nolichucky River.jpg (251989 bytes) May 31, 2006_Boomer at the launch ramp at the Nolichucky River.jpg (166393 bytes) May 31, 2006_Flower Garden outside our home.jpg (291938 bytes)
For the last few days, we have been making trips to different rivers in East Tennessee, familiarizing ourselves with the boat and different launch areas.  We have taken pictures of some of the areas and some of the East Tennessee scenery, while we were out.  The covered bridge is the Bible Covered Bridge in Greene County.  A couple of the pictures show launch sites on the Nolichucky River

We are in the process of preparing to fish new areas for trout as well as smallmouth bass that we have not fished for a few years.  Now that we have the new drift boat, we hope to be showing you the results of some upcoming trips of these new waters.  Some of the rivers we will be covering are the French Broad, the Big Pigeon, the Nolichucky and the lower Holston.  These trips will be done as an addition to our regular trips on the South Holston, 

Watauga, Clinch and Holston Rivers.

We know that many flyfisherman are fans of fishing for smallmouth with the flyrod as well as spinning gear.  If these types of trips would be of interest to your, please feel free to contact us for guided trips as well as flies to be used.


Monday, May 22, 2006 C.L. Duck and Dave Morton on the West Prong of Little River
C.L. Duck and Dave Morton fishing the West Prong of Little River 001.jpg (170477 bytes) C.L. Duck and Dave Morton fishing the West Prong of Little River 002.jpg (116467 bytes) C.L. Duck and Dave Morton fishing the West Prong of Little River 003.jpg (85924 bytes)
C.L. Duck and Dave Morton fishing the West Prong of Little River 004.jpg (106895 bytes) C.L. Duck and Dave Morton fishing the West Prong of Little River 005.jpg (125631 bytes) C.L. Duck and Dave Morton fishing the West Prong of Little River 006.jpg (101921 bytes)
I met with C.L. Duck from Alabama, and Dave Morton from Michigan on May 21st. and it was another day that I thought that would not be a trip that I could complete. All the streams were up and the only choice that we had as a place to fish was the West Prong of Little River. It always seems to run down quickly, when high water is a problem on all the other streams. We made our way to it and it looked fishable, so all three of us donned our waders. This was C.L's. first time on a trout stream with a fly rod and Dave had, had some experience for larger fish that that ran upstream to spawn out of Lake Michigan. Trying to teach a new beginner to cast on a small stream is not easy but both men worked hard on the skills that I tried to show them. In a short time we were ready to start upstream. The first thing that we found in our favor was that the fish were feeding. The second skill that we had to work on was setting the hook in a timely fashion. This one was not quite so easy. The little wild fish of the West prong were really fast. It took several attempts before the first fish was hooked. You can bet it brought some "whoops and hollars" when C.L.  connected the first time. We changed Dave's fly over to a Smoky Mountain Blackbird Softhackle and he began to catch fish also. As we moved on up stream, all the usual things took place with beginning flyfishermen. Sometimes we had hangups in trees and bushes, sometimes the cast were just right and sometimes, we would connect with a pretty wild rainbow. The guys were really enjoying themselves.

  Although the fish in this stream are not very big, it is a great place for a beginner to cut his teeth with a flyrod and the move on up to bigger and better things. All the things that need to be learned are compacted down into miniature size and once you graduate to a larger stream, things seem so much easier. It began to rain about lunch time so we ran out of the Park for dinner and stopped at LROs for the guys to pick up a few things. By the time we got back, it had cleared a bit and we tried our luck at Tremont. The fishing was not as good there, so we moved back to the West Prong and picked up where we left off. The fellas got to learn some about entomology and reading water during this time to help broaden their experience and by the end of the day, they seemed to have had a great time. I believe they're ready to try new water as the streams run down this week. I want to thank them for letting me guide them and I wish them much progress as they move farther into their fly fishing careers.

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


Smoky Mountain Blackbird Softhackle.jpg (49825 bytes) Tan Caddis.jpg (81928 bytes) Thunderhead Dry Fly.jpg (54201 bytes)

Phone Number:  423-586-6198 or



All Content is Copyright of Hugh and Carolyn Hartsell