Smoky Mountain Flyfishing
And East Tennessee
Tailwaters Reports 29
|Dry Flies||Nymphs and Emergers||Nymphs
Emergers - Page 2
|Wet Flies/Soft Hackle Flies||Tailwater Trout Flies|
|Realistic Flies||Tailwaters Hatch Charts||Smoky
Top Tailwater Trout Flies
Top Smoky Mountain
|Smoky Mountain Terrestrials||Gift
Top Smoky Mountain
|AUGUST 16, 2012||ED DETLIE ON THE SOUTH HOLSTON RIVER|
met with Ed this morning and we drove up to the South Holston River. We
walked for several hundred yards down the river and as soon as we got in
the fish were beginning to feed. It seemed to be midges at first and we
had a tough time getting them to take anything. We finally got a few
strikes and Ed seemed to be a little slow at hook set. We fished until
dinner time and took a break for lunch. We drove back to Big Springs
Road and started there. The fish began to hit Ed's flies right away and
he caught a fish on his second cast. It seemed like the fish were
feeding all up and down the river and Ed was getting strikes real
frequently. He did not always hook up but he was having fun. The BWO's
started hatching pretty heavily and there was continuous action until
the water came up at 4:00PM. It was a great day out with Ed and then he
was off to visit the Hunley Museum in Charleston S.C. the next day.
If I can help anyone with a trip before the end of the year, please call 423-586-6198.
|AUGUST 10, 2012||PICTURES FROM NUMEROUS TRIPS IN EAST TENNESSEE|
|JUNE19,2012||JOHN AND ANDREW ELLIOTT ON LITTLE RIVER|
It was a great 1/2 day on
Little River with John and Andrew Elliott. Andrew started
the day off with a very nice rainbow on a Flashback
Pheasantail Nymph. The fish made some spectacular jumps and
it was Andrews first wild trout from the Smokies. His
Father, John had another rainbow in a few minutes. We fished
on upstream and after a few hours we moved down river and
they caught a few more. They were enjoying their trip to the
Smokies and I was having a great time watching them learn.
It was good to be on the river with them and I hope to see
them again some time.
If I can help with a guided trip, please call 423-586-6198.
|JUNE 14, 2012||FISHING ON THE WATAUGA RIVER|
Today, I spent time on
the river with 3 gentlemen and the youngest was 9 years old.
The young man was on his first flyfishing trip and he
managed to catch 3 nice fish on his first attempt at this
beautiful sport. I think his Grandpa did get some pictures
so we'll see if he sends any of them to us.
It was actually quite a day on the river. I've never seen so many fish in all of my trips up there. Most were just the average size , but a couple of fish were very nice and one was big enough to really take line from the reel and the fellow never was able to get it under control. I will have to say that the Watauga River is fishing about as good as I have ever seen it.
If I can help with a guided trip, please call 423-58606198.
|JUNE 4, 2012||OUT AND ABOUT ON THE SOUTH HOLSTON RIVER|
Today I got a chance to
fish with my best buddy on the South Holston River. Many
people love to fish the river in a drift boat but I believe
my favorite way is to wade fish some select spots when the
Sulfurs are hatching off. This gave me a chance to get some
good shots so you can see just what you might encounter on a
good wade trip. All of these fish were taken on the Tan
Wulff. I hope that you enjoy the pictures and if I
can help with a trip, just give me a call at 423-586-6198.
I fished a little on 6/6/12 with a Cicada pattern that I tied up and even though I only fished 3 holes I managed to get two fish to take the Cicada. The first was a rainbow and I lost him and the 2nd was the brown that you see in the bottom right picture. I forgot that I had a sink tip leader on the rod that I used and I need to change it. It was a pretty fish and a smashing strike. Lots of fun.
|May 1, 2012||ANOTHER TRIP TO THE CLINCH RIVER|
It did not take long for
the trip that Carolyn and I took to get the interest of
others. I was back on the Clinch River with Jim and John by
mid morning. There were already lots of people fishing when
we arrived so we had to move farther downstream that I had
ever fished before. The Buffalo were shoaling there and
I was a little skeptical about what the fishing might be
like. We made out way into the river and each one had tied
on a Split Case PMD because it had worked well when Carolyn
and I fished the day before. We had not had time to make
very many cast when Jim hooked a huge fish. This thing was
so big that it was all over the river and he had no control
over it at all. I watched it come to the top and roll
several times and without a doubt it was the biggest rainbow
that I have ever seen hooked in the Clinch River. We
estimated the fish to be between 25-30 inches long. It was
also thick and heavy. This battle went on for 15- 20 minutes
and finally the hook just tore out. Jim was sick and I was
sick for him. It did not stop there. The fish just kept
taking the Split Case PMD and look at the beauties that were
landed. There were other fish that probably went 20 inches
long that were lost, but a great day none the
less. Several of the fish that I took pictures of were in
the 16-18 inch range. This was probably one of the best days
that I have had on the Clinch River and I want you to get in
on the action. To book a trip, just call 423- 586- 6198.
|APRIL 30, 2012||CAROLYN AND I MAKE A QUICK TRIP TO THE CLINCH RIVER|
Carolyn and I wanted to fish the Sulfur hatch this morning
on the Clinch River and we arrived at about 10:30AM. It was
a bright , beautiful day and we began with Tan Wulff's and
Rockhold Sulfur Emergers. The river was very low and the sun
was out bright, with nothing hatching. We decide pretty
quickly that we might need to use Nymphs and she took off
the dropper and added a Split Case PMD in it's place. In
just a few casts she had one on about 10 inches long.
It looked like this might work and I tied one on real
quickly, myself. I only made one cast and a large fish took
the Split Case PMD. When I set the hook the water boiled and
I knew I had a real nice fish. As I fought the fish a few
people gathered around to watch and see what I had hooked.
It took about 12 -15 minutes to get things under control and
we measured the fish at 20 inches when it was ready to
release. It has been pretty common to see fish in this size
range and I feel this is the result of the slot limit that
was put into effect a few years ago. We could not stay too
long and we left by 1:30PM. You can expect to see nice fish
like this on most trips if you have good fishing skills.
Wading is very easy and if we can help with a trip, just
|APRIL 19, 2012||STAN STARKEY FISHING LlTTLE RIVER AND ABRAMS CREEK|
I had tried and tried to
schedule a trip with Stan Starkey for a Wet Fly Class ,but
it seemed that some kind of weather condition always kept us
from completing the trip. We finally thought we might have a
good day on Thursday, but when we got on the stream a
frontal system had left us with high water and the
barometric pressure had put all of the fish down. We
struggled on all three prongs of Little River with not much
to show for it.. Finally, in the mid afternoon with nothing
to lose we decided to drive over to Abrams Creek. When we
got there we found the stream in much better shape than
Little River and insects were hatching off. We took two fly
rods with us so that he could try dry flies or nymphs in any
given run of water. This helped him to catch a few small
fish so that we were not totally skunked. It was great
fishing with Stan and we are going to do it again on the
Holston River soon. It has been a few years since Abrams
Creek was in good shape and it felt like being back in touch
with an old friend yesterday. I hope to give you more
reports from there soon.
If I can help with a guided trip, please call 423-586-6198.
|APRIL 16, 2012||QUICK TRIP TO THE CLINCH RIVER|
Josh Pfeiffer and I
decided to do a wade trip this morning to the Clinch River
to prepare for upcoming trips and to see how the Sulfur
hatch is progressing. We weren't sure just how long the
weather would hold out because a frontal system was
approaching. The wind was already blowing and we knew that
we would probably not have too long before bad weather hit.
The fish were taking midges when I first stepped in the
river and I tied on a Tan Wulff hoping they might be looking
for a Sulfur. I could see some real nice fish feeding and I
hooked a fish that looked to be at least 20 inches long on
the second cast. I did not have him long before my Blood
Knot came apart. Then a group of geese moved in and stirred
every thing up. I did not get another strike on the dry fly
and then I tried a midge with no luck. Next I tied on a
nymph and that was the fly they were looking for. We didn't
get to fish much longer, but the fish were really aggressive
when the nymph hit the water. The fish are very nice size
and I enjoyed my time on the river except getting soaked.
If I can help with a guided trip to this river, please call 423-586-6198.
|APRIL 14, 2012||TOM AND JOEY JENKINS ON LITTLE RIVER|
Josh Pfeiffer of Frontier
Anglers invited me to help him again with a family on
a trip in the Park. We met at Little River Outfitters and
divided up the family with two members each for us and away
we went to the Park. The water is still somewhat cold, but
the Sulfurs and March Browns are hatching and we began the
day with Nymphs and a strike indicator to get them
accustomed to using a fly rod. After missing some strikes
and finally catching a nice trout by Tom, we broke for
As the evening progressed I decided to out a dry fly on and show them how to fish it. Several fish struck at it and one was hooked. Joey landed his first fish and he was ready to fish dry flies from that point on. He did a pretty good job of it to bringing 3 more fish to the surface. It was a good day and I enjoyed being on the water with this family. The streams are coming back to normal and I hope to hear from many of you soon. Call 423- 586-6198 for a guided trip.
|APRIL 9,2012||MIKE AND DEREK ROSS FISHING IN THE GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK|
I had the opportunity to fish with a fine Father - Son
team on Monday, in the GSMNP. Mike Ross and son Derek are
from Florence, S.C. and they are just learning about fly
fishing. The streams are still high and cold and the fishing
is still kind of tough. They were tough troopers and trudged
out 1/2 day on the West Prong of Little River. Derek managed
a nice rainbow there and his Father had a few strikes on the
Middle Prong of Little River, but could not hook up. They
both worked hard on their casting skills and got to learn a
lot about the area. I hope to see them again when water
conditions are better.
|MARCH 29,2012||JOSH PFEIFFER, BILL BOLINGER, AND HUGH HARTSELL FLOATING THE HOLSTON RIVER|
This morning I met with Josh Pfeiffer and Bill Bolinger to float the Holston River, below Cherokee Dam. This float ran from Indian Cave to Nance's Ferry and it was a beautiful day. We caught so many fish that we were all tired and ready to call it a day by the time the trip was over. Blackflies were hatching real heavily when we first put the boat in the water. Caddis began to hatch during the middle of the day and continued to come off as we finished the trip. We caught fish on midges, Caddis Dries, Pheasanttail Nymphs and this continued all the way to the Nance's Ferry takeout. It was a fantastic day to be on the river and if I can help with a guided wade trip or float trip, please call 423-586-6198.
|MARCH 16, 2012||DR. TOM KIM ON THE HOLSTON RIVER|
Today I went to Nance's
Ferry and met a gentleman named Dr. Tom Kim. He told me he
practiced as a Dr. in Oncology for many years and he decided
to open a Free Clinic in Knoxville. It is now called The
Free Clinic of America. After some conversation we
moved out into the river and it did not take long before he
hooked a fish, only to have it come off. He was a little
slow on his hook sets and he lost a couple more before
he hooked a nice one and this time after about a 12-15
minute fight, he landed a very nice rainbow. He managed a
few more fish and I felt like he could handle himself okay,
so I left. He proved to be a great student and it was
fun to help him smooth some things out that were causing
If I can help with a guided trip, please call 423-586-6198.
|MARCH 14, 2012||SPRINGTIME IN THE MIDDLE OF MARCH|
|MARCH 12, 2012|
Josh Pfifer, of Frontier
Anglers asked me to help with group of people that he
had booked and I met with them at Little River Outfitters
this morning. Josh too the Father and one Son and I took the
Mother and another Son. We went to two different streams and
began with casting instructions. It seemed like the water
was still pretty cold and no insects were hatching on the
stream that we had chosen. We left this water and moved to
Cades Cove to try Anthony Creek. The stream had gone down
some since Saturday and we were able to get into the water
and wade some. They were both getting strikes ,but not
hooking up solidly. They would have a fish on for a second
or two and each time they would lose it. We fished to almost
4:00 O'clock and called it a day. It was great fishing with
this family and I encouraged them to get back on the stream
as soon as possible.
|MARCH 10, 2012||TONY ZHELTKOV IN THE GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK|
Tony Zheltkov, was
visiting from Nashville and he had never had any formal
instruction at flyfishing, even though he had done a fair
amount of fishing on the Caney Fork. We met on a cold
Saturday morning and away to the Park we went. There was a
pretty heavy rain event a couple of days before and the
water was almost too high to fish in most of the widely used
streams. My first thought was to try to find some spots up
high on the smaller streams and our first stop was the West
Prong of Little River. Tony had a fish on real quickly and I
thought we might have a good day. It was a small one and it
seemed that most of it's brothers were laying low. We could
not get anything else to move. We drove on over to Cades
Cove and stopped at the Picnic grounds to try Anthony Creek.
He managed a couple of strikes but did not hook up. We moved
from there to the lower end of the Cove and started at the
Trailhead on the Spring Creek section of Anthony Creek. It
did not take long to hook up with the second fish here, but
he could not hold onto it. We fished farther on up the
creek, but he was not able to get any thing else to move. We
then drove over to the Middle Prong and he fished hard to no
avail. At this point we had not seen any flies hatching and
we got no strikes. To finish the day off, we went back to
the West Prong and the flies were starting to hatch in the
later part of the evening. We saw a few rises and he tried
dry flies , again without getting a strike. We finished the
day with a Flashback Pheasanttail Nymph and even though he
got a few strikes he did not hook up. We are going to try
again when his family comes back to visit the Park. I hope
the conditions are better the next trip.
Tony got in touch with me on the 11th and told me that he was able to fish for a few minutes before they went back home. He sent a picture of a nice rainbow that he caught and it is the last picture.
Hugh If I can help with a guided trip, just call 423-586-6198
|February 28 2012||NEAL WHITE FISHING THE QUILL GORDON HATCH IN THE SMOKIES|
It is always fun showing
the good results that other fishermen have when they are on
the stream. Neal White is a friend and we share thoughts and
results from time to time. He had taken a trip to the GSMNP
today and he had just gotten back home a short while ago. He
sent these pictures to show what a great day that he had. I
asked if He would share them and he was kind and said, yes.
This years Quill Gordon hatch has been fabulous and we
invite you to call us for a guided trip if you would like to
get in on some of this action. Here's Neal:
Just got home from a trip to Elkmont. Had a fine day, started at BLANK Branch around 11:00. Started with a Prince nymph since there wasn't many bigger bugs coming off, wasn't long and the Quills started coming off. Caught my best brown from the Park today, not huge (around 14") on a dry, absolutely hammered a Quill emerger. Every thing was bows from 6-10". Had a few bigger rise, but didn't get hooked up. Was a beautiful day, no one else fishing where I was at, just what the doctor ordered for me, lol.
|February 24, 2012||SHAWN BURNS FISHING THE QUILL GORDON HATCH IN THE GSMNP|
Shawn Burns lives in Yale , Michigan and works in the Auto
Industry. I met Shawn a little over a year ago by selling
flies to him and after several sales he let me know that he
was going to be coming down to Seneca, S.C. to show parts
for a company that he works for. This lead to the idea of a
guided trip in the Park since the Quill Gordon hatch has
begun. The trip looked like it would be fine , but Mother
Nature intervened and it turned into a really raw day. The
fishing was slow to start with, but Shawn kept working on
skills that I was teaching him and by mid day he started
catching fish. The first were on nymphs and later the Quill
Gordons started to hatch. I switched him over to a Quill
Gordon dry pattern and the numbers started increasing
rapidly. He was catching smaller ones at first and the fish
got larger as we moved upstream. Shaw's nicest fish was
around 12 inches and he was really tickled. We finished the
day off on the East Prong of Little River and the wind
became brutal. We called it a day and Shawn was set to try
again today. Let's wish him well while he 's fishing on his
own and a safe trip back to Michigan.
If I can help with a guided trip , please call 423-586-6198
|February 20, 2012||
THIS IS MY FIRST TRIP TO THE SMOKIES IN 2012 AND THE QUILL GORDONS ARE HATCHING
Today, I made my
first trip to the Park and the Quill Gordons, Brown
Stonflies, and BWO's were really coming off in the middle of
the day. I started the day off with tandem nymphs because
the water was so cold. I did not get a strike and at the end
of the first section of water that I fished I began to
see some feeding on top. I switched to a Quill Gordon dry
fly and the strikes began immediately. I spent all of my
time on the Middle Prong of Little River and the fish that I
caught were the nicest that I have seen in this river since
the drought hit 5 or more years ago. They have really come back.
Just take a look at how nice all of these fish were.
The water temperatures were pretty low and there is still
snow on the mountain. Winter is slowly leaving us. If you
want to get into some great dry fly action with the first
hatches now taking place, just call 423-586-6198 for a
guided day on the river.
|NOVEMBER 29, 2011||LATEST UPDATE ON THE HOLSTON RIVER, BELOW CHEROKEE DAM|
I received notice this
morning that the TWRA had made it's first stocking for the new
year, 2012. It was apparently a small stocking and possibly a
total of 3500 fish were placed in the river on this date.
I was also told that TWRA will try to stock more brown trout
this coming season and that will be good news to most fishermen
on the river. The water temperature at mid river was 57
degrees on Sunday. That is getting real close to optimum and I'm
sure it will fall more this week. I am looking forward to a
great year on the Holston and I want you to be sure to get your
name on our list as soon as you can get your self free to make
this great trip. We have lots of big holdovers again this year
and you can expect to see fish measuring over 20 inches while
fishing this season.
These pictures are from a trip to the Holston River on 12/2/2011. There were Caddis and midges hatching . The water temps were 54degrees.
Another update from a trip on 12/6/2011: Josh Pfifer and I fished mid river and we caught several real nice rainbows and browns. The largest fish was a brown that looked to be at least 23 inches long. I played the fish for several minutes and Josh was making his way to help me with a net . The fish tangled in a long bunch of grass and I just kept moderate tension on it until Josh got to me and when he reached down with the net the fish bolted. That was the last that we saw of a beautiful highly colored brown in full spawning colors. He looked to be a 4-5 pound fish and maybe someone will be lucky enough to get him to rise to a dry fly again. He took a size#20 Little Dark Olive Caddis.
This latest trip was on 12/19/11 and it was a short one. I managed 3 fish and my first fish was a brown. The next one was a very nice rainbow that was stocked early this year. Each time that I have fished this section I have caught browns. It is very encouraging to know that we have quite a few that are in the river this year. In the last two months there have been 3 browns caught that were trophy fish. One fish was 28 inches, another was 27 inches , and the last was 23 inches. I have seen several in the last few weeks that were in the 10-12 inch range. It sure looks like a very promising season ahead for 2012. The water temps are now around 50 degrees at Mid river.
Take a look at Harry Crotzer on the last day of the year. He is hooked into a real nice rainbow and it looked to be about 18 inches or better. He played the fish right up to him and the hook tore out. Just look at the size of that submarine in the water in the last picture of the first row. He'll get another crack at him. He caught fish on the Black Rabbit and the South Holston Miracle Midge
Little update, Harry sent me a picture of another nice rainbow that he caught after I left. It is the 2nd picture of the first row.
Latest update:1/5/2012 I was told today that TWRA had made another stocking in the Holston River. We are really seeing some nice sized fish and the season should have a lot to offer.
Today, 1/5/12 was a day to make a grown man cry. This morning I drove down to one of my usual fishing spots that I have leased to guide on and there were at least a 1000 Seagulls all over the river feeding on something. I didn't know if they would have any effect on the fishing or not , but I got right into the river and started fishing an Elk Hair Caddis with a midge dropper. I did not get any strikes and I didn't see any feeding on top so I changed over to a BHPTN with a South Holston Miracle Midge as a dropper. I was on the far side of the river and I worked as far as I could go before I needed to cross some shoals. On my last cast I had a solid strike and when I set the hook I felt some real strength. I knew that I had some weight on. I had just changed to new sections of Seaguar 5X tippet and I hoped that I did not have a repeat of a few weeks ago when I had another large brown to tangle in weeds and finally break off. The fish made some short strong runs and turned toward me making a strong charge. It came out of the water right in front of me and there was a fish that all men dream of. A huge brown almost 30 inches long and spoiling for a fight. He was still wearing his spawning colors and man, what a fight he put up! For the next 15 minutes he was all over the river and after a strong battle, my right arm was wearing out. He probably went a good 100 yards down the river and then turned and started back upstream. This was probably the strongest fish that I have ever had on and he was not tiring at all. He finally found some long grass under water and wrapped himself in it. I tried tapping on the rod and giving some slack and nothing worked. Finally, the BHPTN flew back in my face and the battle was over. He had broken the dropper off and that was the end of the battle. He beat me fair and square. I am now 0 for 2 with big browns this year. It looks like it is time for 4X tippet.
If we can help with a guided trip , please call us at 423-586-6198.
|Dry Flies||Nymphs and Emergers||
Emergers - Page 2
|Wet Flies/Soft Hackle Flies||Tailwater Trout Flies|
|Realistic Flies||Tailwaters Hatch Charts||
Phone Number: 423-586-6198 or
All Content is Copyright © of Hugh and Carolyn Hartsell