View Full Version : Western Guide moving East
01-29-2010, 11:22 AM
Hello all, Just wanted to drop everyone a line and see how the fishing is going out there. I have never fished in Tennessee, let alone out east, so I will be looking for some water to fish, any advise would be greatly helpfull. I have guided for trout and steelhead (flyfishing) in AK,WA,ID,MT. Type of water is not a big deal as I have fished spring creeks, tailwaters and everything in between as long as there are fish. A one fish day is a fantastic day and a day with zero fish is a great day. I would say that skating dries on the Grande Ronde River in WA is my favorite Steelhead spot and the Upper Columbia or Henrys fork is my favorite Trout water. Enough about me, where should I go and what do I have to look forward to. I Almost forgot, how hard is it to pick up a day or two of guiding every now and again. Thanks.
01-29-2010, 12:09 PM
The Smokies and the tailwaters of northeast Tennessee are going to be your best bet. Do a forum search and you will find lots of info on whatever stream you are interested in. The TWRA web site, especially Region 4 (east Tennessee) has some good info. Don't know where you are relocating, but once you've zeroed in on a likely stream, these folks will be glad to answer your questions. I second your opinion on the Henry's Fork, although Silvercreek is my all time favorite as you might guess from my tag. Regards, Silvercreek
01-29-2010, 12:33 PM
I am also new to this board and I'm new to trout fishing as well. I started fishing for them last summer and I did all my research on the TWRA website as well as this site. Every stream and river I chose was excellent and I always caught trout. You can't go wrong in the east TN, western NC area. Sorry I don't have more specifics but I too am a beginner to trout fishing here. You have a lot to look forward to here. Good luck and tight lines. :biggrin:
01-29-2010, 04:16 PM
If I were guiding I would certainly familiarize myself with the SoHo, Clinch, Holston, Trophy strech in NC, as well as some cental tailwaters. The park is great but your and your client must understand and have reasonable expectations, which contrast drastically with someof the other waters listed. As it always is communication of what the client is looking to get out of the experience is paramount. In my experience many folks who take guided trips in the park do not have any equipment or very much experience, and in a lot of cases are steered in other directions water wise. there is so much eaisly accessed water in the park all one would have to do is pick up a free map or buy a book. But that by NO means they will ever catch a single fish in the park as there is a bit of a learning curve, as most here will confirm. Tailwaters offer a obviously different experience, not to mention a lot easier casting, and wading environment for the client. Also the trophy strech is a guides dream. Welcome to the Southeast.
01-29-2010, 10:26 PM
I believe this next year will be great for fishing here in Tennessee. Our tailwaters are going to be running a lot of water for at least the next couple of months. The tailwaters are amazing fisheries and every time I head out west to fish, I end up wondering why I didn't just stay home and fish the TN tailwaters for 2-3 weeks. When they are running water you'll need a boat, but otherwise there are excellent wading opportunities.The mountain streams are going to be in good shape for the upcoming season. We've had plenty of water for the last several months. The fish in the Smokies are healthier now than I have seen in a long time. There are endless opportunities for warm water species as well...
01-31-2010, 07:14 PM
Western Hatch--I'm blessed in having fished the waters of the Smokies for over 60 years as well as having appreciable time on storied Western waters. I'll skip the tailwaters and focus my comments on the Smokies. I've fished the former a lot but feel my greatest depth of knowledge focuses on wild trout in the Park. Here are some thoughts:
(1) Wild trout are tougher here than in the West--tighter quarters, fewer hatches, more pressure, and often, more rugged wading. Or, to put it another way, any angler who can catch trout with consistency in the Park will have little trouble in the West.
(2) Long casts mean little--most will be under 45 feet and in smaller streams appreciably less than that.
(3) Presentation is far more important than pattern.
(4) Stealth is vital--camo or earth tone clothing, sneak and peek, use streamside vegetation to your advantage, wear the knees of your waders out as you stoop to conquer, etc.
(5) For the finest (and easiest) fishing get back of beyond by using shank's mare (a mountain term for walking or hiking)
(6) Almost all stream in the Park hold very good populations of trout, and there are bigger fish in them (browns) than you might think.
(7) Yellow is THE magical color in flies.
(8) Be prepared to do a lot of roll casting, tight lining, and even bow-and-arrow casting.
(9) Make every effort to fish the "impossible" places.
(10) Try to get out with a local veteran for a trip of two, whether it's a guide or just an experienced angler. Watching an old-timer for a day can teach you a great deal.
(11) One final thought which is shameless self-promotion--consider obtaining a copy of my book, "Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park: An Insider's Guide to a Pursuit of Passion."
I'll close by adding that there are regular participants on this forum, a number of them, who really know their stuff and share it willingly and wisely.
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