Fishing Reports for The Smoky Mountains
And East Tennessee Tailwaters


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

I met with Bill and Barbara Beckler, from Louisville, Kentucky on the last day of the year, and it was a rough one. A strong weather system was coming thru the Southeast and it was really dumping rain on the Great Smoky Mountains. That did not make any difference to Bill and Barbara, they were here for some fishing and that is what we did. The water temperatures were not all that bad (in the 40s) so I hoped for the best even though I knew that a frontal system, with falling barometric pressure would make things real tough. It did just that.

This  was a rare  occasion for me, to experience the wife being the one who had taught the husband to trout fish with a flyrod. Barbara had a relative who taught her how to flyfish several years ago and she had gotten her husband interested in it and now they were both pursuing this beautiful sport. Each one tried very hard and listened to all the instructions that I gave them, but the fish were just not feeding no matter what we did. We fished from about 12:00 o'clock until 5:00 and called it a day. It was a day of learning but not catching. All of us were pretty wet and it felt good to get into a dry automobile after taking the wet clothes off. I exchanged best wishes with them and left them with some flies to use later on. I want to thank them both for being such strong advocates for flyfishing and I hope to see them again on the stream.

It looks like fishing in the Park will be tough until water temperatures moderate. If Carolyn or I can help with a trip to a tailwater for the next couple of months, please contact us at:                                                         

Carolyn and I had some business to take care of in Upper East Tennessee today and when we had finished with that, it was time to enjoy one of the most beautiful days that a flyfisherman could ask for at this time of the year. We geared up and almost before we got away from the car a person spoke to us and asked if we were Hugh and Carolyn. He introduced himself and told us how much he enjoyed our website and this pleased us very much. We seem to run into someone on almost every trip that knows us from seeing our reports. We always appreciate the fact that so many people view our little website and that they receive some benefit from it.

We fished for a couple of hours below the Weir Dam and then moved down river to a new location. This different setting made a world of difference in the size and amount of fish that we caught. Carolyn and I both caught numbers of beautiful wild rainbows thru the rest of the afternoon. A Grey Midge hatch and a Diptera hatch were taking place and the fish were just becoming more active all the time. All of these fish were wild ones and they came out of the water like silver torpedoes. If you're wondering how the fishing is doing on the Tailwaters, I'd just have to say" real good"!

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

Carolyn and I would like to take a few minutes to thank everyone that has been a follower of our website and especially to those of you who have purchased flies or guided trips this year. We hope that out adventures, guided trips, and tips on which flies to use all over East Tn. have been a help or a special experience to you. We have enjoyed meeting many hundreds of you online, as well as on the stream. Our online fly sales have far exceeded anything that we could have ever imagined. We owe much of the credit to you, our clients, for trusting us with your patronage. We never cease to learn something new from each client that we have taken out on to the stream and we hope that this new knowledge can be passed onto many new fishermen this coming year. Our personal stats and the volume of business that we did this year; tells us, that we have become one of the most sought after flyfishing websites in the Southeast and we just thank you from the bottom of our hearts that you have seen fit to call on us and give your business to SmokyMountainFlyGuide. We pledge to keep introducing new flies that will be the best for our customers that can be found. We want to continue  to provide top of the line guidance when you spend the day with us on the stream. We also have plans to provide even higher quality pictures than we have ever had before.

Please make plans early for the new upcoming year to secure your day on the stream with Carolyn or me. We will try to give you a day of trout fishing that you will remember for years to come.

We want to wish each of you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year as we give thanks for the great season that we have just experience. Please feel free to call on us for a guided trip and for all your needs that you might have for flies to be used this coming year. To contact us just click here                                                         

I talked with Rick Pons today, from North Carolina, and he related to me that he had a great day on Tuesday of this week at the South Holston River. He also sent some photographs of the fish that he caught and gave his permission to do a report about them. Rick related to me that he had been using a #18 Pheasanttail Nymph when he caught these fish. I think Rick is as glad as I am about the great weather that we've had in East Tennessee  this winter. I'd like to thank him for sharing his pictures and this trip with us and I want to wish him and all of the people who follow this website, a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Years. May God bless each one of you.

   Hugh and Carolyn and of course, Boomer  

Bill Hall and I have been wanting to fish the South Holston River together for awhile and we finally got to get together on one of the prettiest days in December, that you could ask for. We started fishing as the water was going down and it was sort of tough even though the fish were feeding everywhere. They were feeding on Blackflies and Creme Midges that were so small that you could hardly match them. Size #30 was the order of the day. This changed as the day wore on and BWOs began to hatch. Bill was catching a few on Pheasanttail Nymphs and I was getting some decent fish on BWO Emergers. We moved in the early afternoon to Big Springs Road and found some BWOs and other small midges hatching in that area. I caught my best fish in this section and we finished up with several fish each. It was a great day to be out with a good friend and just extremely nice to have such a beautiful day.

Bill and I had an unusual experience yesterday as we were beginning to fish the section on Big Springs Road. The first was a person who stopped on a motorcycle and he related to us that he had caught a 5 lb. brown just about straight out in the river from where we were parked. He said that he caught it on a big creek chub minnow. The next person that we talked to happened when we were taking our waders and boots off to finish up the day. It was a local farmer and he also stated that he had caught some huge browns in the river just a short distance upstream. He said that he caught one that weighted 28 lbs. and another that weighed 18 lbs. He said that he caught them on "A LARGE RED LIZARD".

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

It was a beautiful day for Boomer and me to get out on the Holston River and see if the fish had survived any farther down river than what we had first seen. We first went down to Nances Ferry and we met a nice young man from Maryville, Tenn. just as we were getting set to fish. We walked together to the first shoals and I watched him fish for awhile in the fog. I walked out to mid river and tried for about 10 minutes without any success and after getting a tangle in my tippet, I came back in to the bank. I had not been there 5 minutes until the water started coming up. We decided to move and I showed the young man a new stretch of river that is about 5 miles below the dam.
Boomer was following every step of the way and I mean that he was right out in the river with me. He played and hunted his heart out all day and he is sure getting in lots of water training in the process of these trips that we are taking. He is as much at home in the river as he is on the land. He's really making a fine water dog. The fish were only feeding moderately today and I managed to land 3 nice ones while the other young man had several hookups but they were all Long Distance Releases. All of these fish were taken on the Green Caddis Emerger. We fished until we were tired and we said goodbye to our new friend. It was a beautiful day for the middle of December.

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

We were able to get out with Boomer today and spend some time looking for ducks on the South Holston River. They were generating until 12:00 noon and the water had not completely run down when we arrived at Big Springs Road. There were ducks all along the edge of the road in the dead grass that had been growing along the river bank, this Summer. We got out of the car, with ducks in range, but we did not shoot. There were houses pretty close by and we did not want to make anyone mad over firing too close to their dwelling places. It could have costs us a great place to fish this coming Summer. Boomer and Carolyn slipped up to within 20-30 yards of a large gang. There were so many that I thought some wild migrating ones may have just arrived. They sure had Boomer excited and we just let him have fun. It was a great experience for him and maybe the next time will be for real instead of just trying to catch them.



Man, O man! What else can I say??? We have been hoping that a year would come along on the Holston River below Cherokee Dam that would take us back to the way the river was when we first started fishing it for trout more than 6 years ago. Trout were attaining a huge size in just one year and then they carried over thru the next year.  It was common to see 25 in. trout. This seems to be the best year for carryovers that we have had since that time. Today, Ernie Roberts and I made the trip down to the river and the weather was beautiful as well as the generation schedule being in our favor. We had the river to ourselves, until 2:00PM. We got started just as the pulse was going down and immediately a Caddis hatch began. I had tied on the new Little Dark Olive Caddis and a Green Caddis Emerger for the dropper. We had only been fishing for a few minutes until I had one on and it was a very nice fish. After about 12 minutes, I had a nice 17 inch rainbow in my hand. I only made a few more cast  and another fish took the Caddis Emerger I had on. Ernie began to catch fish and for about 3-4 hours, we caught one after another. Ernie's best, was a beautiful 18 inch fish.
The Caddis just kept on hatching and we just kept on catching beautiful rainbows. At somewhere about lunch time a huge Bald Eagle came soaring by. It was a beautiful sight. It was now getting close to the time for generation to start and we were getting tired. It had been a great day on the river and we were thrilled to learn that many nice fish have made it thru the drawdown and all of the warm water is now out of the dam.
We should see some of the nicest fishing in the Holston River, below Cherokee Dam that we have had in quite a few years. 20-25 inch trout should be common by Spring time. New fish have also been stocked so there is a great range of fish from the dam  to Nances Ferry. If you have a day to get into some nice winter time wade fishing or a float trip, just give us a call at 423-586-6198. You can also contact us by email at: The flies that took fish today were:                                                           

I got to meet with four of the nicest people from Kentucky that I have had the opportunity to meet in my guiding experience. Robert and Eva Tucker had come down to Gatlinburg with some friends, Mike and Tine Edwards to be married on a short vacation. After some conversation on the phone, we decided to drive to the South Holston River and  "BOY, WHAT A DAY IT TURNED OUT TO BE"! This was probably one of the nicest days at the last of November that I have ever experienced in my whole life. It must have been close to 75 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.

Mike was the only one of the group that had any flyfishing experience, and that had been many years ago. He had just bought a new Orvis Zero Gravity rod and was ready to break it in. We worked with the group for at least two hours on casting and mending skills before we started really fishing in earnest. Mike put the new rod to work and by the time we finished, he had caught at least one half dozen fish. Robert had gotten a couple of strikes but failed to connect. I managed to get a boot tangled in some fishing line that had been thrown into the river and fell face first into the river.  I could not get my foot and leg untangled for a minute or two. I managed a banged up knee, a set of waders full of water and a good twisted leg from the fall. I thought I was going to have to cut myself out of the line for a minute or two because of the way the line had twisted around my boot. This was line from a spinning reel and is what can happen from carelessly discarding broken line into the river.

I did manage to get a few minutes with the new Orvis Zero Gravity Rod and it sure casted nicely. This was a 9ft. 5wt, and it was made for Tailwaters. It required no effort at all to make 60ft. cast. While I was instructing alongside Robert, a very nice midge hatch started coming off and in a few minutes a real nice hatch of Little Dark Olive Caddis began to take place. As this hatch got heavier, the fish started really becoming active and within a few minutes, they had started into a feeding frenzy. This was as good as a Sulfur hatch in the early Summer. It's not too common to see heavy Caddis hatches on the South Holston. This one was fantastic.

I don't know how you could have asked for a better day on the water--great weather, great hatches, and great people to be with. I wish this newly married couple a great future. They have really good friends in the Tuckers and I hope that their new experiences in life will all be happy ones. I hope that we get to meet again.

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

I met with the Bartolomeo family at a very rustic and scenic hotel called BUCKBERRY LODGE, which overlooks Gatlinburg. It is one of many guest houses that reside on Wiley Oakley Drive, and it was my first opportunity to go inside of this beautiful place. It carries the resident splendor of a New England mountainous fishing resort. After loading everything up, we got fishing licenses and moved to the Middle Prong of Little River. It was to be a beautiful day, but the water temperatures were in the low 40s and I knew we were going to have a tough time getting any fish to hit. We started off with casting and mending instructions for Lee and Jordon who had not had very much experience at flyfishing. Mark had some experience, and he was able to move on up the stream. Each person had a Beadhead nymph tied on under a strike indicator. I felt like they would need to keep the fly down close to the bottom as much as possible since the fish were not going to move very much in the cold water. The ladies began to get their casting skills going well, and they also moved on upstream. During the afternoon, Mark was able to catch one fish and missed a couple of other strikes. We only saw a few insects hatching in spots where the sun was hitting the water for a period of time. This proved to be a day of getting lots of instruction and plenty of casting and mending work to go with the next trip on the stream. We finished the day up after the temperature started to drop and found our way back up on the mountain to their place of residence.

We had a great time fishing with this very nice family and hopefully the water will be a little warmer on their next trip to the Smokies. It had been a beautiful day to be in the mountains and we hope they enjoyed their stay.

If Carolyn or I can help with a guided trip to the GSMNP or a Tennessee tailwater, please contact us  by telephone at 423-586-6198 or                                                          


This was a day to take Boomer out to the river and start working on retrieving disciplines, as well as getting in some fishing time. The surgery on both hips for hip dysplasia has just about completely healed and he is getting close to his adult size now. He is now 11 months old. We have been working on retrieving, at the house, and since the beginning of Duck Hunting season is at hand, we felt that a beautiful day like yesterday was, would be a great time to start some more, on the river training.Just getting accustomed to swimming long distances and being in or around the water for quite a few hours was all a part of yesterdays training. He is one of the most aggressive dogs when he is turned loose that I have ever owned. He is a pure bundle of energy and he is hard for us to contain when we are out. My biggest fear is when we are real close to a road. HE HAS NO NATURAL FEAR AND THEY CAN BE DEATH! We allowed him to do about everything yesterday and we tried to instill some discipline as we went along. It's sure going to take a lot of outings. Most of our retrieves were just sticks and bottles while we were out on the river, but training with a dead decoy will start real soon. Our main objective was to just give him plenty of time in the water. Wherever we are fishing, he wants to follow and be right along side. He is the love of our life and you'll be seeing a lot more of our training and our days out with him as the Winter Season moves along.

The South Holston River is still fishing great and the spawning season is under way as you can see from some of the first pictures. If Carolyn or I can help with a guided trip, or with flies, please call at 423-586-6198 or contact us at:                                                         

A little update on Boomers training. I took him to the Holston River, below Cherokee Dam this afternoon and they were pushing 16,000CFS. We moved from there to Buffalo Creek and we began some retrieving skills with a bottle. He is retrieving very well and seemed right at home in the water. We'll start doing some pictures of his retrieves very soon.

Boomer took his first actual hunting trip on Saturday, 18th of November. We drove to Round Mountain in Cocke County and began Grouse hunting along some back country Forest Service Roads. We were mostly allowing him to become acquainted with the conditions that Ruffed Grouse might be found in at this time of the year. We have been taking him to Cherokee Lake each day and practicing commands and retrieves at the boat launch ramp which is located nearby our house. His training is now coming along very well. We still have not fired a gun close to him. That will happen soon.

A few days ago we had Boomer on the river in our drift boat hoping that we might get to see some ducks. We were in a popular fishing area and other fishermen arrived so we did not try to shoot any of the ducks that we saw. Boomer got more river experience while we were out.

Two days later we took Boomer up to the Andrew Johnson Bear Reserve and walked an old logging road to give him some more experience at hunting grouse. Even though we did not jump any birds, he hunted and casted almost like a true pointer. This is just more time in the woods for him. He loves every minute of it.




I met with Joe Orr from Texas on Tue. the 24th and we were off to the South Holston River for some great trout fishing. The generation schedule had changed so we had to move over to the Watauga River to get in our day of fishing. Joe is a Baptist minister , but he is also a very good flyfisherman as well. He has fished the San Juan River and the Guadalupe river as well. It did not require much guidance on my part for him, so I just turned him loose on the water and followed along as he caught several fish and missed others. It was a very cold day and after several hours in the water, I was feeling the bite of the water and the air. Joe continued right on upstream since the fish had started hitting and had several fish to his credit. It was a great time to be in the outdoors and Joe was great company to share thoughts and stories with. Upper East Tennessee is passing thru the peak of the color season and soon we will be into winter conditions. Joe seemed to enjoy his day on the stream and the beauty of this area. We look forward to meeting each other again on the stream as I bid him a good safe trip home.

If Carolyn or I can help with a guided trip to a Tailwater, or in the Smokies, please contact us at:                                                          

October 23, 2006 Karen and Roy Hagman on the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River
I received a call from Eight Gables Inn, which is located just across from the Welcome Center for Gatlinburg and they needed someone to help guide a couple from New Jersey on a flyfishing trip. The next day I met with Roy and Karen Hagman for their very first flyfishing trip, ever. They were a delightful couple and they had arrived at a very beautiful and scenic time for the Great Smoky Mountains and East Tennessee. The leaves were at their peak of color and a cold front had come thru the area leaving the beautiful crest of Mt. LeConte draped in a snow covered blanket. That was our backdrop as we got into the water and began flycasting lessons in the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River. After casting for a few minutes, Karen moved upstream and Roy began to work the flyrod practicing his skills. Both were using a Softhackle Emerger under a strike indicator to entice a trout into taking their offerings. While Roy practiced casting, Karen began working the upper stretches of a large run and pretty son her strike indicator went under and I said "jerk, you have a strike" She set the hook and was connected to her first Smoky Mountain Rainbow Trout! She let out a "whoop" and hollered to Roy that she had a fish on! The fish ran all over the hole and after a couple of minutes, it managed to free itself. When this excitement had settled down, we let Roy move on up to try his luck at a new spot, farther up the stream. In about one hour, Roy also had a fish on and he could not believe his luck. Shortly afterward, Karen hooked and landed another fish and lost another. As the evening came to a close, we moved back to the car and all of us absorbed the beauty of the mountains, the thrill of their very first flyfishing trip and scenery of a place that had once been inhabited by another generation. What a great evening! I hope the Hagman's continue their quest for the elusive trout and that they are able to return to East Tennessee some day.

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

Carolyn and I met on the 21st with Dave Riestenberg and some of his family members. He had his brother, Ted, and father-in Law, Barry Frame with him to try out the tailwaters of the South Holston River. It was a cool start in the morning, but the temperatures moderated real quickly and we first got in the water and worked on casting and mending techniques at the Weir Dam. Dave was the only one with any real casting experience so it took a little while to correct some problems that showed up in new flyfishermen. We moved on down the river after the pulse started and got in the water just as it started to drop. Our biggest problem was that many other fishermen had decided to do the same thing. The fish began feeding real heavily as the water began dropping but timing was trying to steal all of our strikes. Barry finally hooked one and he was the first to score. Next to hook up, was Dave. He had several strikes that he just couldn't connect with, but finally began to land some fish after about an hour. Ted worked hard on his casting skills but the fish just eluded him for the day. They had been pressured pretty heavily on this day so it wasn't too easy to hook up for a beginner. He did get a lot of casting skills worked on. We had lunch in the afternoon and went back to the river for another hour. The fellas were getting tired so we called it a day. It was great to meet this nice family and we hope they continue their quest for the beautiful trout when they have the opportunity.

If Carolyn or I can help with a guided trip or flies, please contact us at (423-586-6198) or email us at:                                                         

Scott and I met at the Bass Pro Shop on the morning of the 20th and we arrived at about  10:00AM on the South Holston River to fish the section on the Big Springs Road. Scott had driven up the night before from near Birmingham Ala. He had some flyfishing experience so when he first got in the water and started casting, he did not have very many problems to have to work out. He had not cast but 4-5 times when we saw some feeding fish and he started working his flies over them. We had tied on a BWO Softhackle Emerger under a Stimulator that was being used as a strike indicator. He had probably not made more than a dozen casts when a nice fish rose to take his fly. He was a little slow on the strike set and threw right back toward the same spot. This time the fish came right back and he set the hook into a very nice rainbow. A lengthy battle followed and after about 10- 15 minutes, he had a nice 18in. fish in his hand. Boy, was he proud of his first fish! We fished several other areas of the South Holston as the day went on and he caught many more fish. The weather turned into a gorgeous day and Scott came away from the river with many memories. I sure enjoyed my day out on the water with Scott and I hope that we get to fish together again.

If Carolyn or I can help with a guided trip to the Smokies or any of the East Tn. Tailwaters, please give us a call or email us at:                                                          

I met with Dan Powers from near, Cincinnati, on the 19th and we made our way to the South Holston River and it turned into a pretty day after some wind and dreary weather. Dan had a rough time trying to cast in the wind , but we continued to work with casting and mending techniques until he was able to catch a few fish. Dan had recently recovered from an illness and seemed to really enjoy his time on the stream as the beauty of upper East Tn. THE FISH WERE FEEDING WELL AND THE NATURAL BEAUTY OF THIS TIME OF THE YEAR WAS FANTASTIC. I enjoyed spending time with another Viet Nam Veteran and I wish him well in the future. I look forward to seeing Dan back in Tennessee for another great vacation in the Smokies or Upper East Tenn.

If Carolyn or I can help with a guided trip to either of these great fishing locations, please contact us at:                                           

October 18, 2006 Ernie Roberts and Friends on the South Holston River
At the Peak of  Color
Ernie Roberts and his Son-in Law, Chris and I decided to go up to the South Holston to help bring Chris up to par on his casting and mending skills and to see the colors while they were at their peak in Upper East Tenn. The fish were feeding  well and after some quick casting instruction, Chris was on his own. It wasn't long before he had his first fish on. Everyone continued to catch fish and I also got a couple of good pictures of a young man who was fishing just above me who caught several nice fish. Chris ended up having his best day on a trout stream and the colors were just spectacular. What a great day to be on the water.

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

I met with Freddie Jeely yesterday and off to the Watauga River we went for a few hours of fishing. Our plans had been to fish the South Holston River all day, but they generators were on until 1:00PM. We used up some time in the morning by driving to Elizabethton and fishing the Watauga for a few hours. The wind was pretty strong and we had to work on casting for awhile. At this time the temperatures were pretty chilly and it seemed like it was going to be sort of a raw day on the river. Freddie had a strike or two and caught one small brown. After we had fished for a couple of hours, we decided to move on to the South Holston River because we knew that the generation would be over at about the time we arrived. Our plans were to walk down the river and catch the water as it began to fall and hope that the Sulfurs began to hatch off at just this time.

We started walking down river and passed several people who were waiting along the bank. On down the river we went until we came to a spot where no one was waiting. The water had fallen enough to start wading out so I took Freddie out about 1/2 way across the river. The flies were starting to hatch off and the fish were beginning a feeding spree. Freedie cast a couple of times and had his first strike. I wanted to show him a little about how to set the hook and on the first cast, I had one on. After a couple of minutes I had a LDR and Freddie was back at it again. He had another strike and missed again. This happened several times in a row. In a few minutes he hooked a fish and played it in, where I photographed it. He kept on hooking but not always landing fish. It seemed like the fish had just gone into a feeding frenzy. The Sulfur hatch was a great one on this day and the weather had turned into a gorgeous afternoon. The fish were cooperating and Freddie was having himself a time. The day continued on with many fish being caught and many being released a little too soon. It was a great day to catch fish and to work on skills that sometimes get a little rusty. I had a fantastic time with Freddie and I believe that he had just as good a time as well. You couldn't have asked for better conditions. A great Sulfur hatch, fish feeding like crazy, a beautiful crystal clear sky, leaves at their peak, and a river from heaven. Thank you Freddie, for sharing this beautiful trip with me.

If you would like to spend a day with Carolyn or me on this beautiful stream, Just call our number or contact us by clicking on one of the links below.                                                         

October 13, 2006 Fishing with Joseph Fincher and Joe Jr. in the GSMNP
I met with Joseph Fincher and his son Joseph on the morning of October 13th and we worked at Metcalf Bottoms on casting and mending skills for awhile and then fished upstream to give both a chance to try their luck in a great area. The water temperatures were pretty cold at the time we began fishing and the fish were doing very little feeding. This Father and Son team were very close and the young Son had already picked up a lot of skills. Not only was he adept at casting, but he showed me some flies that he had tied and his skills were exceptional for someone who is just 11 years old. We tried several places on upstream from the picnic area and we just couldn't find any fish feeding. We finally moved on over to the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River and we stopped at the Chimneys Picnic area. This is where Joseph senior hooked his first fish. He had it on for just a minute and it made a run which pulled the hook out of it's mouth. After a short time here, we moved farther upstream hoping to see some brook trout. The crowds were so heavy that we could barely find a place to get in the water, but both parties managed to find some fish. They were small and feisty but they did add some flavor to the day. It was a tough day on the stream and the crowds were huge, but it was great to be out with this great Father and Son team.

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

October 11, 2006  A Birthday Gift for Ben Blossom from Jackson, Mississippi
Amy Blossom wanted to do something special for her husband on his birthday, and his wish was a guided trip to the Smokies. We talked and agreed to meet for the trip, but because fishing conditions have not been the best in the Park, we changed our destination to the South Holston River. When we arrived it was raining lightly and we made our way down to the river. Ben had spent some time on several rivers in Arkansas and out west. This was his first trip to upper East Tennessee. The Fall colors were gorgeous and the fish were dimpling the surface as he entered the water. Pretty soon, Ben had his first rainbow for the day. He continued to work to the other side and the fish were cooperating as he went. Rain showers began to hit the river at a stronger pace and just as soon as they came, they would move out. We continued right on up the river and  Ben finally hooked a pretty nice brown. This beauty jumped several times and after playing the fish for a few minutes, he threw the hook. This was probably his best fish of the day. At 2:00PM the water came on and we had to move downstream to keep fishing. I told Ben how accomplished an angler that I thought he was and how well that he cast without any formal instruction. It is rare to see this in such a young man. I watched him work several stretches of water and I marveled at his smoothness. His casting and mending skills were great.

 In the afternoon, we moved to other locations down the river and Ben had some great action in the last spot. This is where he saw several large fish that he did short battle with, but they had other plans. It ended up being a great day with a fine new friend and I wish him good luck on the next river. Thanks also to Amy for being such a great and understanding wife. What a great gift for your
husband's birthday!

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

Today, I met with Charles Terrell for his second day on the water this week. We decided to fish the South Holston River again, because the waters in the middle elevations of the Park have not been fishing well. This proved to be an absolutely fantastic day! Charles tried a different size rod today and it seemed to really make a difference in his casting abilities. The wind was not blowing and he was into fish almost from the start. As you can see from the pictures, he was just catching fish almost as fast as he could cast to a new spot. I ran out of space on my memory card and there were many more fish caught that I could have photographed. After about 20 fish, I lost count. Both Charles and I really enjoyed ourselves on this trip. The Fall colors are almost at their peak on the mountains in the background behind where we were fishing and the sun was nice and pleasant all day. It was just a pleasure to fish with Charles and I really look forward to being on the water with him again soon.

If you would like to spend a beautiful day fishing this river amongst all the scenic colors that Mother Nature has to offer, just call or email Carolyn or me at 423-586-6198. You can email us at:                                             


October 9, 2006 Fishing in the GSMNP with Tom Reed
Well, I met with Tom Reed from west Knoxville on the 9th of October and it was not a very good day. Tom had been given some instruction by another guide and was a fairly accomplished flyfisherman. We first tried Abrams Creek and then Little River. We absolutely struck out. This is not a good thing for a guide to say, but I want to tell the truth. There are days that the Park has not fished well at all and this was one of them. Tom did everything correctly that I showed him, but to no avail. He wound up catching a couple of small fish and that was it! It was certainly no fault of his. He did everything right, but the fish just did not cooperate. He has the offer to fish with me again and I hope we get to do it sometime soon and make him feel better about his skills. It just proves that on some days, the fish can get the best of you. I do hope that fishing improves in the next week.


October 8,2006 Fishing the South Holston River with Charles Terrell
Charles Terrell and his wife came up from near Fayetteville, Tennessee or a short vacation in the Smokies. Charles had made plans for a couple of days on the streams while he was visiting. We decided to do a trip to the South Holston River since the water was off for the whole day. This one turned out to be a day really full of instruction and one really nice fish. Charles also caught many in the medium size range. Charles had never really had any instructions on casting and mending before. The wind was blowing pretty hard for most of the day and that really created problems. This is when a guide really has to give his best instructions and the client has to have a mild temperment to keep his sanity about himself and not want to give up. It was something that he struggled with all day. He did not give up and he caught several fish as well. I compliment him on staying the course. Even the most experienced fishermen have trouble casting and not getting tangles in a stiff wind. The big browns came out again when the pulse started today, just like they did yesterday when we were on the river. You can see from the pictures where Charles is landing a 21in. brown, just what the pulse and the Sulfur hatch causes the big browns to do. Charles and I are going to try to do this again on Tuesday and see if we can get this casting in complete control. Wish us good luck and great weather for that day. We had a great time together today and some great food as well. I look forward to seeing him again later in the week.

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



September 30, 2006


I met with Ben Martin, from Spartanburg S.C. this morning, on a day with a very chilly beginning. It seems like we just went from having high water temperatures to having cold water temperatures almost overnight. We began our morning on the East Prong of Little River and besides the water being cold, it was also a little high. This added to the wading difficulty. There was absolutely no insect activity for the first hour, but as the sun began to warm things up, a few small midges begin to show themselves as well as BWOs. We found a large wide run to work on casting and mending skills and soon Ben was getting a few strikes. I had told Ben that casting and mending problems work themselves out pretty quickly but timing on strikes from the fish come a little later. This was proving to be the case. As is normal, his reaction time was not just on cue, so we practiced that part for about 2 hours. We had planned on fishing Abrams Creek, but the gate to the Loop Road do not open until 10:00 AM. We had given it enough time and we made our way across the mountain and started down the Loop Road with a jillion people in front of us. As we were going around the road, we came upon a group of people who had blocked the road and were out observing a bear. Ben took a few shots , but they were pretty far away and it was a mother bear with triplets. We made our way on to the Abrams Falls Trailhead and went about 1/2 mile downstream to begin our trip. The flies were hatching of in all directions and Ben began to catch fish right away. Ben caught several fish as we went upstream and our biggest problem was that the fish were mostly small in size. We fished on for about 3-4 hours and decided to go back to Townsend and get some food. We got it to go, and this gave us some more time on Little River. Shortly after starting on this stream, Ben began to catch fish on a pretty regular basis. His casting and mending skills were all coming together as well as his timing on strikes. The Isonychia Mayfly was skittering around all over the water and the fish were pretty active for about an hour and 1/2. Ben caught several fish and then the strikes just turned off. We finished the day with several fish, even though the size fish we had been looking for were just not feeding. It was a good day to remember for Ben and me. He worked hard at mastering the nymphing skills against some tough forces of nature. Even though the fish were not real large , the learning skills that he mastered were to last a lifetime. I enjoyed my day on the water with Ben and I hope to see him again soon.

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


Phone Number:  423-586-6198 or



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