The Caney Fork: Let's start with the Caney and we will work our way to the smallies. This week we spent days on a couple different rivers including the Caney Fork on Labor Day weekend. Yep we went to the Caney on a holiday, but we timed the float to start when most of the recreation folks were getting off the river or there about.
We hit the float at a pretty good time and boated some nice browns and rainbows. Hoppers did not even get a look for us this week. So we drowned nymphs against structure and picked up some slot fish.
Another thing we did was hit the dam pool below Center Hill Dam, in the evening, to fish dries. Small Adams worked pretty well all by themselves. If the fish stopped hitting, just adding a small dropper would change fishing back catching. Small dries late in the evening is a good way to wind down and it is very entertaining.
The Holston: Some fly angler's look at smallmouth and discount this fish before giving it a try. The nights are cool and the days are mild. The smallmouth can tell that the season is changing because the are putting a lot of effort in feeding throughout the day and the main course is thread fin shad and crawdads.
The smallie's are chasing bait along the banks and literally rubbing their noses raw while digging for crawdads, they’re not going to pass up an easy meal like a popper landing on the surface either. This is a great time of year to target better than average fish by sight casting to them in the low clear water as they wait to ambush their prey. Want to try something a little out of the ordinary? Give us a call, text or email and book a ride in a Hyde for East TN smallmouth.
The Elk: I have to say, for us anyway, this river is really producing the numbers of rainbow, brown and brook trout. The fish are coming to nymphs and terrestrials as well. One of the keys to nymphing is knowing just the right depth. Get the depth off a little and the fish still bite but there is a definite difference in the count.
The size of fish is mostly stocker size, but stocked trout aren't the only fish in the river. Holdovers can be coaxed to the fly from time to time. Bringing these fish to the net comes only by putting in time at the right stops along the way, along with a little luck.