March 30, 2016 Guide Report

March has been pleasantly warm, and the fishing was very good the entire month. We have been targeting the high country freestone rivers, chasing smallmouthbass and big rainbow trout. We have also hopped around some small streams in the Boone, NC region. This time of year, the freestone (non dam controlled) rivers boast temperatures in the mid to high 50’s, which makes for some great multi-species fishing. On the smaller creeks we have been fishing NC DH and private waters since  all of the hatchery supported water is closed for the month. Hatches of little blonde caddis are coming off on each river we have visited big or small. Big dobson flies,  stonefly patterns, and caddis nymphs are producing consistently on the big rivers, and a streamer bite has been there on most days. We look forward to the Caddis hatch on the Watauga as well as the run of laker brown trout from Boone Lake in the coming weeks.

February 11, 2016 Guide Report

The hard winter has set in, thus limiting the number of guided fishing trips the past month. However, we love taking advantage of  decent weather and great fishing when we get a chance. The long, scenic float trips on the Nolichucky River have produced some awesome rainbow trout action. We have connected on some great fish by twitching big streamers, swinging wetflies, and nymphing large attractors. Some sections have iced up, but a stretch of >40 deg weather should allow access this remote, beautiful, and productive water for the remaining winter and into spring. As the weather warms, we will see a transition to smallmouth bass, only enhancing the trip experience.

The S. Holston and Watauga tailwaters will continue to fish productively all winter, as the dams consistently pump water temps in the mid to high 40’s.  You can expect good midge and blue wing hatches on both tailwaters, and a decent “post spawn” streamer bite with the right water flows. While the brown trout spawn is about finished, the rainbows are preparing for their yearly ritual.

In between the fishing, Justin has been working his Brittany on ruffed grouse in the high elevation mountains of NC.  While not for the timid hunter, these exciting hunts are producing multiple flushes on most half day walks.  With the increasing population numbers, and further polishing of our bird dog, we hope to put some clients on these birds in the fall/winter of 2016-17.




Nov and Dec, 2015 Guide Reports

We finished up the 2015 season with a high number of successful trips, both floating and on foot. A warm early winter provided us a wide variety of rivers to fish, water levels, and tactics used. From tiny creeks to the big tailwaters, we covered it all, rounding out a very productive year for our guides. We would like to thank all of our customers for another great year of fishing, your business is much appreciated!

The S. Holston continues to be a top producer on the national level, considering both the numbers of fish caught, and upper end size. On Nov 1 every year, the S. Holston closes about 1/4 of the river for the brown trout spawn. Despite the limited water, our floats generally produced great numbers each and every trip, with shots at world class fish mixed in. The bwo and slate hatches came off as always mid morning through evening, with cloudy and calm days providing the best dry fly opportunities. The brown trout moved on the spawning redds mid December, and the heavy spawning should last into mid Jan.

The upper and middle sections of the Watauga tailwater has fished extremely well, as lots of fish have moved up river to spawn. While the bread and butter one these floats are 12 in. beautiful browns and rainbows, we have targeted and landed some absolute monsters in early November. The spawn takes place earlier on the Watauga compared to the S. Holton, with brown trout showing up on the redds as early as late Oct. Small blonde caddis, bwo’s, and varieties of big slately mayflies have dominated the bug scene.

The small streams in the high country had one of the most productive Novembers we could ever remember. El Nino laced our weather pattern with wet and warm weather, providing us with optimal small stream fishing conditions. The small streams around the Boone, NC region fished extremely well, and the outlook looks good for the rest of winter and into spring. The Boone area DH sections are in especially good shape helped by the big flows and heavy stockings. The big flows kept the stockers happy while they acclimated to their new streams, plus eliminated the fish in a barrel situation, often seen in small DH streams. Bug life remained active up through the New Year, with sunny midday hatches being most prolific. Big yellow stones, small grey stones, and midges have been the most prevalent bugs.

Oct 10 2015 Guide Report

S. Holston and Watauga Tailwaters

We have been floating and wading all sections of the S. Holston, taking advantage of the brown trout prespawn bite. The browns are definitely on the move throughout the river, establishing their feeding lanes within their chosen spawning grounds. Blue wings and midges have replaced our big sulphur hatches. The mid morning and late evening midge hatches have been impressive, with the blue wings and slates are ramping up daily. The shad kill in South Holston Lake had the big browns gorging, as many are now bloated full with the bait. We have taken advantage of this by fishing shad streamer patterns during the initial high water release.

The Watauga Tailwater male brown trout have started staging on their redds preparing for the spawn. Slates, BWO’s, blonde caddis, and midges are  most prevalent bug wise. The streamer fishing is picking up, especially on the aggressive males near the redds, with sculpin, shad, and rainbow patterns fishing best. Nymphing caddis larva, midges, and blue wings has been the go to technique for most anglers.  The middle section float is producing the best numbers, however some hogs are being landed in the trophy section and downstream. The Watauga offers a very scenic float this time of year, a favorite of the leaf looker crowd.

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Aug 1, 2015 Guide Report

S. Holston Tailwater/Boone Lake

The S. Holston sulphur hatch has been outstanding the past couple of weeks on the upper half of the river. During high water flows, the hatch has reached “blanket” status. The catching part is much easier during the lighter hatches with less competition from natural bugs. The beetle, ant, and hopper bite is moderate to good on most days. Overhanging trees or bushy banks near deeper water are producing best while tossing terrestrials. The draw from the low levels downstream in Boone Lake and afternoon high water flows, has produced cold flowing water 20 plus miles below the dam. We have caught smallmouth, largemouth, stripers, and spots mixed in with our brown and rainbow trout during our floats down low. This is a great time of year to float the river with us… Check out all the big browns caught the past few weeks below!

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Watauga Tailwater/Boone Lake

Midges have dominated the scene for most of the river lately. During low water, nymph or dry dropper fishing mayfly, caddis, and midge patterns are producing best. The terrestrial bite is there on most days and can produce some awesome bites. High numbers of trout remain in the upper portions, but big fish are coming out of every section of river. When they release high flows, we have been tossing the big stuff with good success … See the pic below of the giant 28 in. brown trout landed in mid July! The lower river can produce a mixed bag of species, with some world class brown trout mixed in.

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