Boat position is critical when smallmouth fishing at night, because if you get your boat into that shallow water, you’ll spook more fish than you’ll catch.”. One of the finest tailwaters in the US, the Clinch River flows from the base of Norris Dam. Some large rainbow and brown trout call this section home though. As a professional freshwater fishing guide, my goal is to give you the best opportunity to catch smallmouth bass (smallies) in the beautiful tailrace and freestone rivers of East Tennessee. While normal 9-12 inch stocked rainbows are the norm, don’t be surprised by brown trout more than twice that large. The water levels are usually higher this time of year so you will find these fish in the shallows. Begin your visit here at the Reelfoot Lake State Park Visitor Center. Brook trout are also stocked here. Be careful operating it as much of the lake has stumps just under the surface where trees were harvested after the lake was created. All rights reserved. Throughout most of the nation, a 4-pound smallmouth bass is considered a trophy fish. Wading is only possible when the dam is not generating. 112 lbs. https://www.middletennesseeflyfishers.org, A PERSONALIZED fly box make a perfect gift. Late October through November is an excellent time to fish large streamers for big smallmouth bass. “The areas where the largest smallmouths hold after dark are along the main river channel where old feeder creeks came into the main river before the lake was inundated,” Austin James explained. For the smallmouth, poppers are a good bet along with minnow patterns like the famed Clouser Minnow. Smallmouth action on the Little Tennessee is some of the best in the Southeast. The true trophy hunter will appreciate everything this lake has to offer. It’s arguably the best lake in the country for trophy smallmouth. For smallmouth in the lake, shad imitations are best. Once you see the big rainbow and brown trout you’ll know why this river is so popular. High season is March to May. Species Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, Kentucky Spotted Bass, Walleye, Muskie, Catfish, Carp. Blue. When people tell you to downsize, that may be correct, but when fishing jigs in current compared to slack water, you need heavier weight…. Warm water stocking information can be found at: Warm Water Fish Stocking Tennessee. The most popular is probably at Miller’s Island where you can wade or launch a boat. Numbers of smallmouths can be caught on most of the river's stretches from … If you want to use a guide to learn these waters, check out Trout Zone Anglers at http://www.troutzoneanglers.com to shorten the learning curve. The big spring caddis hatch draws anglers from across the country. The low area filled in and Reelfoot Lake was born. The New has a South Fork and a North Fork. Come join me in experiencing the longest river located entirely within the state of Tennessee. The Tellico is the stuff legends are made of. Chickamauga is an impoundment of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The South Fork is the more popular. Michigan. In particular, Tennessee is blessed with exceptional fishing for smallmouth bass. Want a true mixed bag experience? To match the caddis, try a CDC and Elk in #16-#22. Large brown trout will often run up the river in the fall which is a good time to target them. Copyright (c) John E. Phillips, 2014-2015. Striped bass and muskellunge can also be found in the waters of the Volunteer State. In the upper end of the lake and the tailwaters below the dam, large striped bass can also be found. License purchase and renewal, records and awards, trout stockings, free fishing events for kids, boating and fishing access maps and more. If floating is your thing, this river is perfect for a drift boat or raft. The trout section is short as the river runs a few miles to the Cumberland. Known for big largemouth bass, the current Tennessee state record largemouth weighing over fifteen pounds came from these waters. A great fly rod that will work for a lifetime. For anglers with little time to explore, Little River is a particularly good watershed with lots of variety. For throwing streamers for trout or smallmouth, a 6 or 7 weight rod is best. Guide Tip: In the northwestern corner of Georgia the Blue Ridge Mountains clip the state. . But James has fished the river so much that at night he seems to have a sixth sense of where his boat is in relationship to the shallow water and the underwater drop-offs. One of the region’s finest trout fisheries, the Caney Fork has some big brown trout along with the usual smaller stocked rainbow, brown and brook trout. Anglers target both stocked and wild rainbow, brown and brook trout in Tennessee. Required fields are marked *. Trout are what first drew me to fly fishing. Fishing with a variety of soft Trout stocking information can be found here at: Trout Stocking Tennessee. The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA) regulates all fishing in Tennessee and regulations vary by water. Low season is January to February and June to December. For trout in the Great Smoky Mountains and other mountain streams, a 10’ 3 weight is ideal for high sticking or reaching across the many different currents to get your fly to the trout. Bead head Pheasant Tail nymphs in #12-#20 are great for nymphs. Pullouts along Powerhouse Road provides access for wading anglers. ALL CONTENT, PICTURES & VIDEO PROTECTED UNDER THE DIGITAL MILLENIUM COPYRIGHT ACT. The Caney Fork River tailwater flows from the base of Center Hill Dam in middle Tennessee only an hour from Nashville. Their reputation is built on stamina, acrobatic fights, and aggressive top water strikes. Fishing in the winter is usually excellent and helps cut down on the crowds often experienced here. In fact, the three biggest smallmouth ever weighed-in have come from Dale Hollow. Effects of Deer Herd Overpopulation on Buck Deer Antlers, How to Overcome Target Panic with Michael Braden. Make sure to have a good selection of sulfurs in #16-#18 along with some blue-winged olives. The northeast corner of Tennessee is blessed with an abundance of great water to fish. While other species can be found here, the smallmouth bass bring anglers from all over for their shot at a trophy. Spring is a great time to find these fish in shallow water when the temperature exceeds 60 degrees. A 9’ four or five weight rod is about perfect on this river. Fly Fishing the Little Tennessee River Guided fly fishing trips on the Little Tennessee River. Fall Creek Falls Lake. However, summer months like those in July have proven to be some of the most outstanding times to Quarantine Shmuarantine, let's go fishing! Reelfoot Lake was formed by a massive earthquake in the early 1800s that occurred along the New Madrid Fault. Teaching Fishing Fun. If you want to float, then use the Powerhouse Boat Ramp and do the short float to Towee. To catch this size of smallmouth at night, an angler must know the bottom of the mighty Tennessee River. Monitoring over the years has detected smallmouth bass up to 19 inches with most fish in the 10-14-inch range; however, anglers often report catches more than 20 inches. Known for its prolific caddis hatch in the spring, the trout can go into a feeding frenzy during this annual event. Leaders of 7.5’ to 9’ in the 4x to 5x range is all you need in the Smokies. The Chucky is an awesome river for those who like to add the thrill of light rapids to their fishing adventure. The river guide tries a variety of lures in the fall because of the fish transitioning from shallow to deep water and different types of cover. We target smallmouth bass on our wade and walk fishing trips between the months of April and October on the Tuckasegee River and Little Tennessee River. To be able to take the brown tigers holding on the edges of the river and creek drop-offs, Austin James must have a mental picture of the lake and its bottom in his mind. This focuses on the Tennessee River while it is nearest to Chattanooga. Anglers will want an arsenal of fly rods to truly take advantage of everything the Volunteer State has to offer. Now known as a crappie fishing destination, the lake also features good fishing for bass and other species. One of the finest tailwaters in the US, the Clinch River flows from the base … There is no closed season. Here’s a LINK to my store -> River Traditions, “This site is owned and operated by River Traditions LLC, a limited liability company headquartered in Michigan, USA. The land sank and the Mississippi River is said to have run backwards due to the massive forces unleashed. It fishes more like a mountain stream as well. A boat is a necessity to fish here. John’s Note: The night was sultry, the moon had refused to shine, and the summertime air needed air conditioning. (205) 967-3830, © 2020 John In The Wild | Easy to moderate access. I’ve spoken about the TFO Drift Fly rod in my article Best Fly Fly Rod, Line and Reel for Nymph Fishing. From here downstream to Reliance, rainbow, brown, and brook trout abound. Trout Unlimited offers monthly meetings and activities across the state. Dale Hollow Reservoir is also located on the Kentucky and Tennessee border and is an excellent fishing location during the fall months. A good way to target them is to work structure such as rocks, logs, or deep runs. My friends at Blue Ridge Trout Unlimited <- link write detailed fishing reports that will help guide folks to some fishy water. Nighthawk Publications, Inc. 4112 Camp Horner Rd Access is good throughout the river, but especially up near the dam. If crappie or bluegill are your thing, this lake provides excellent opportunities. Keep those tippets in the 12-15 pound test range for hunting larger fish. Donald Hedge is the premier pickwick lake fishing guide. Bass (Smallmouth) fishing in Tennessee River varies slightly throughout the year. Large rainbow and brown trout call the Clinch and its crystal clear water home. This reservoir is unique because the cold-water inflow from the Clinch River keeps the reservoir at a more consistent temperature throughout the year. The Tennessee River is a 652 mile river and flows through Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Kentucky. Right after high school in the 1980s, Cherokee was a serious destination for smallmouth fishermen. The Buffalo River is the longest unimpounded river in Middle Tennessee. This area is a little known gold mine for trout. Another Tennessee tailwater, this river is arguably in the top two or three trout streams east of the Mississippi River. At night, the smallmouths will move from that deep water into stumps and rocks in 5 to 7 feet of water to feed. These fish can be found in rocky or gravelly areas of the river with moving water. But during the summer months of June, July and August on Wilson and Pickwick lakes on the Tennessee River in north Alabama, most smallmouth anglers don’t get excited unless they catch a 6-8-pound smallmouth. Two popular chapters near Knoxville include: In Nashville, the Middle Tennessee Fly Fishers is an active club. “Usually my boat is in 20 to 25 feet of water, and I’ll cast into 4 or 5 feet of water. Location West of Bryson City on NC 28 South and also Needmore Road (off US 19/74). For the musky, don’t forget some type of bite guard. Anglers who fish the noted waters are proud to say Cherokee's very good smallmouth status has returned. The river is stocked heavily through the warm months from a hatchery that sits right beside the stream. The world record smallmouth bass came from Dale Hollow Lake. The Watauga is another fine tailwater. This fly imitates the golden stonefly nymphs found in excellent numbers throughout this river and in fact all over the southern Appalachians. Clint Walters, Jr. July 30, 1982. 41 lbs. The long growing season is what enables the stripers and musky to grow to trophy proportions. River Monster Guide Service offers fly-fishing adventures in Pigeon Forge, one of Tennessee’s premier Trout fishing locations. In the lower river, don’t be surprised when a big striper eats that streamer during the warmer months. For over 30 years Donald has fished Pickwick Lake and the Tennessee River below the dam targeting trophy smallmouth, largemouth, striped bass, catfish, and white bass. On the tailwaters, a better reel with a good drag is recommended. The Holston is found just east of Knoxville and provides excellent fishing for both trout and smallmouth bass. Best Fly Fly Rod, Line and Reel for Nymph Fishing. Also being the largest tributary of the Duck River, the Buffalo boasts outstanding opportunity for Smallmouth … Longer leaders are best on the tailwaters with a 9’ being the shortest you should consider and longer is better. Tennessee River Bass Guides. Photo by Meghan Marchetti/DGIF. Designed by Themnific. Our favorite East Tennessee smallmouth river produced the expected bountiful harvest … These three just happen to be close by. Lock C, … Its most fish-able area starts in the New River State Park near Jefferson and then flows northward for more than 50 miles. Smallmouth and largemouth might live in the same body of water, but inhabit different areas…. It is not uncommon to have high catch rates as well hook into a few lunker bass. There are many other great smallmouth bass streams in Tennessee. Another good access is at the Interstate 40 Rest Area that even provides special parking for anglers. Add a name or favorite quote. Dale Hollow’s clear waters hold a vast variety of fish, including walleye, largemouth, and … Another fine trout river in middle Tennessee, the Elk River is smaller and more intimate than the more popular Caney Fork River. Several times a year, the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA) releases monster Rainbows, which are great fly rod or light spinning rod targets. The most targeted fish species in the Harpeth River is the smallmouth bass (M. dolomieu). Famed for the sulfur hatch, it is not unusual to see sulfurs hatching eight or nine months of the year. During the winter, delayed harvest regulations provide catch and release fun for anglers looking to catch some larger than usual fish. Dale Hollow is no secret to any serious bass fisherman. “The bass will be holding on the edges of shallow flats that may be 6-12 feet deep on the edge of a 25-30 foot drop. There are many good hatches, but the blue-winged olives and caddis are probably the best. Being named for the Buffalo fish that were abundant when the first European settlers arrived, the Buffalo is rich in aquatic life. You can find all of the rules here at: Also available is stocking information for both warm and cold water fisheries. The entire tailwater provides excellent trout fishing for wild brown trout along with a few wild and stocked rainbow trout. Striper flies can usually be cast on lighter rods, but the backbone of the 10 weight is nice when a 20 or 30 pound fish hits and starts to run. The cold water from the bottom of Norris Lake provides consistent temperatures to keep the trout happy. Book us for a day and we will change your mind! Tennessee is an angler’s paradise. 6x fluorocarbon is a must on area tailwaters. We had been chunking and winding since way before dark. Catfish. Covering 27,700 acres, the lake is the premier smallmouth fishery in the state of Tennessee. And so Teo, his nephew Boaz and buddy Trey snuck off to the river for some social distancing and smallmouth fishing on Sunday, May 17. License Requirements NC fishing license . Smallmouth are ambush predators and love to sit behind rocks or other cover when hunting. The trout portion begins at the Powerhouse where water emerges from a tunnel and passes through the generators. However, anglers wanting something a little different than the usual trout fishing can find plenty of other species in the Volunteer State. The South Holston River is, along with the Clinch and Watauga, the best of the best when it comes to trout fishing in Tennessee. ... Tennessee River (Chattanooga) Fishing Reports Recently shared catches and fishing spots. Too, the underwater mounds, built by prehistoric Indians, that come up close to the surface are productive places. And, Austin James of Athens, Alabama, knows how to catch them. At night he can’t put out floating marker buoys to mark the river ledge drop-offs like daytime anglers do. ... Strong populations of both large and Smallmouth Bass. But they’ll be holding very close to that deep water. In the summer, large striped bass can also be found in this river and should be targeted with large streamers that imitate trout. Holston River. The river is stocked throughout much of the year meaning there are always willing trout to be found. Change Deer Hunting Strategies to Make a Difference in Your... Catching Crappie Limits with Guide Steve McCadams, Late Spring and Early Summer Planting Ideas for Deer, Why Nonresidents Must Have Guides to Hunt Mule Deer in Alberta, Canada, What’s Captain Mike Wilson’s Favorite Shrimping Trip. Emerging from Wilbur Dam, this river feels more like an oversized mountain stream than most of Tennessee’s tailwaters. Think rainbow and brown trout with a chance of smallmouth bass in the lowest reaches and native brook trout up high. Bald eagles migrate here to spend the winter, so you know there are lots of fish around! Most know about the great largemouth fishing in the south, but most believe you have to go up north to experience great smallmouth fishing. In addition to smallies, we may also fish for largemouth bass, spotted bass, white bass, striped bass, hybrid bass, walleyes, sauger, and crappies. Additionally, striped bass are also found throughout this lake. Parachute Adams in #12-#18 and Yellow Stimulators in #12-#16 are perfect for dry flies. The Obey River provides excellent trout fishing below Dale Hollow Dam and great smallmouth bass fishing above. Smallmouth bass are widely regarded as one the hardest fighting game fish in freshwater. Summer is the prime time for catching smallmouths at night along the Tennessee River that meanders primarily through Tennessee and Alabama. As with all of Tennessee’s tailwaters, midges are a staple. Hint: fish a Tellico nymph #10-#14 while you’re on this river. Powerhouse Road follows several miles of the best portion of the Hiwassee. The mighty Hiwassee is a unique river. Once the water rises, bring out heavy streamer rods and big flies to try for a big brown trout. Michigan is the top location for smallmouth bass fishing. A unique reservoir close to Knoxville, Melton Hill provides the opportunity to hunt for trophy muskellunge in their southernmost range. smaller profile baits with heavier heads…. Your reel isn’t particularly important in the Smokies as most of your casts are short and very few of the fish are capable of pulling line. Little Tennessee River. The sulfur hatch is overshadowed by that of the nearby South Holston but the hatch is very good on the Watauga as well. Fishing Guide Service in Chattanooga Tennessee specializing in trophy catfish crappie rockfish striper and bluegill In the right season, the tailwater area downstream from Chickamauga Dam offers great quality smallmouth bass fishing. Soft hackles also work well on this river. There are some true monsters in this system. smallmouth prefer current, while largemouth prefer slack areas. To learn more about John E. Phillips’ bass fishing books in both Kindle eBooks and print books, click here. Flowing out of Virginia and into the northeast part of the state, the South Holston flows for many miles from the dam to Bluff City where it enters Boone Lake. Anglers come here to target the big rainbow and brown trout. A 9’ 5 weight is useful in the Smokies and on most of the tailwaters across this state. Since my early days in the sport, I’ve learned that I can target many other species as well. Powered by Wordpress. Finally, if you want to chase stripers or musky, a heavier rod in the 9 or 10 weight range is best. You better bring a strong casting arm for casting those huge musky flies and fighting the big stripers. Content theft, either printed or electronic is a federal offense. TYPICAL CATCH: Depending on the time of year, Smallmouth Bass are plentiful and can reach five plus pounds. We recommend 80 pound fluoro although some anglers prefer wire bite guards. The occasional Striper sends shock waves through your rod. Large freestone river . It would be hard to find a more scenic river to enjoy a day of fly fishing on. The Search for Nighttime Smallmouth Bass Can Be Tough, Equipment and Tactics for Catching Tennessee River Smallmouth Bass, Catching Big Tennessee River Smallmouth Bass, More On Nighttime Smallmouth Bass Tactics, Pickwick Lake on the Tennessee River – Best at Night for Smallmouth Bass, Randy Howell Learned to Fish Northern Lakes by Spending His Off Time There, The Best Days Outdoors Often Are the Worst Days for Successful Bass Fishing, Fishing Tailrace Waters’ Grooves for Catfish, The Rokon Motorcycle-Outdoors in Bad Weather and Its Many Applications. There is a reason it was named after this river. Also there are locks with barge canals and wing walls made up of rocks under the water that were here before the lake was raised, where bass will hold at night. Vestavia Hills, AL 35243 A true angler’s paradise, the Great Smoky Mountains features 1,000+ miles of fishable water. Fishing The 7 Best Lures for Smallmouth Bass in Rivers If you’re hitting the water for bronzebacks this summer, you’ll want to fill your tacklebox with these go-to baits Smallmouth Bass will hit a variety of lures and can be caught during all four seasons here in East Tennessee. Smallmouth Bass and Trout attract anglers from all around the country, who come to the Little Pigeon River looking to chase the fish upstream. For success, a guide is the best bet to help you get on fish quickly. It is a river so good that it has a fly named after it. Clinch River Fly Fishing. What gives Michigan its edge … The river is known to grow fish very quickly, so there are better than usual chances at a trophy rainbow or brown trout or smallmouth bass. It is home to just about all of Tennessee’s native fish. Bass Fishing. Large streamers account for many of the largest brown trout landed each year. Small Spotted Bass usually keep you company while Largemouth lurk through the wood. Wild trout abound here including native southern Appalachian strain brook trout in the higher elevations. Information for fishing in the State of Tennessee. This is a mega smallmouth fishery with plenty of fish for everyone! Your email address will not be published. The New River is probably the best known, if not the most productive, smallmouth river in NC. Channel. To catch this size of smallmouth at night, an angler must know the bottom of the mighty Tennessee River. Hit the Clinch tailwater part of the day for its trophy trout and Melton Hill part of the day for stripers or musky. Some of the best trout fisheries in the east are found here. River smallmouth in the fall will move to the shallow gravel banks to feed on minnows in the early morning so Smith will tempt these fish with spinnerbaits, Jewel Bait Company Gem Blades 2.0 rigged with swimbaits, Flukes and topwater lures. Located in west Tennessee, the Buffalo River is the last stretch of “small” water providing kayak anglers a good shot at catching smallmouth bass.While smallmouth are in the nearby Tennessee River (Kentucky Lake), this large body of water is not where I prefer to fish or what I would call classic smallmouth water.For me, small streams are my choice destinations for either wade fishing or kayak … Add a spring and early summer sulfur hatch and you have an exceptional fishery. Because of that ultra clear water, bring your 6x fluorocarbon tippet and very long leaders. When the water is off, access the river below the dam and try subsurface midge patterns like the Zebra Midge in #18-#20. River Traditions LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”. This is a rare place where you can catch wild and native trout on dry flies every month of the year. They will help with maps of the boat ramps and also have lodging and camping available. Although we had caught quite a few largemouth bass, the real prize for which we were searching – the striped bronze tiger that prowls the stump rows and rocky bottoms of Pickwick Lake on the Tennessee/Mississippi/Alabama border – had eluded us. Like the Pigeon, the Nolichucky River flows out of the North Carolina hills and into Tennessee. Wading when the water is turned off is the best strategy. It's never ceased from producing smallmouth bass, but there have been up and down cycles over the last few years. There are several access points where anglers can fish on this river. Electrofishing samples on the Harpeth River are indicative of healthy sportfish populations with a good chance at catching a quality fish and good numbers. That said, floating this river is not for the faint of heart. The Nolichucky's smallmouth river reputation is like that of Dale Hollow's lake lore. With a healthy shad population, you want your flies to imitate these small baitfish. Precautionary Fish Consumption Advisory On Wednesday, June 26, 2019, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) today announced a precautionary fish consumption advisory for smallmouth bass from Abrams Creek and the Little River within the … If you want to specifically target the stripers, then giant streamers that imitate rainbow trout should be in your box. In the tailwater, the usual midges will catch trout all day. When fly fishing in mid to late fall, consider fishing with a sinktip or a 250 grain full sinking line in the deeper riffles and pools on our larger rivers. » Austin James, Bass fishing, john e. phillips, smallmouth bass, Tennessee, Your email address will not be published. If a trophy is in your sights, then throw the meat. Comments (0) “Holding the boat in deep water is important,” James reported. 06/02/2015 Although the smallmouth is primarily a bass that likes current, at night, the smallmouth prefers the calm water of the shallow flats to feed.”. Zebra Midge, size 18-22 in black and silver, Elk Hair Caddis, size #14-#16 in black, olive, and tan, Parachute Blue-winged Olive, size #18-#22, Clouser Minnows, size #2-6, in white or chartreuse and tied sparse for crappie, Frog patterns tied weedless, size 1/0 or larger for bass in the lily pads. The big strong trout found here will often impose their will on anglers fishing the light tippets required for midge fishing. 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For bass and muskellunge can also be found in this river and flows through Tennessee Alabama.: //www.middletennesseeflyfishers.org, a heavier rod in my article best fly fly that..., poppers are a good bet along with minnow patterns like the famed Clouser minnow river. Hatching eight or nine months of the lake has stumps just UNDER the DIGITAL MILLENIUM COPYRIGHT ACT bluegill are thing! Arguably the best bet to help you get on fish quickly 40 Rest area that provides! Two popular chapters near Knoxville include: in Nashville, the lake to. Section home though tippets in the shallows on Buck Deer Antlers, how to catch them excellent trout below... Drew me to fly fishing trips on the tailwaters, a 6 or 7 weight rod is best corner Georgia! Inflow from the base of Norris Dam anglers wanting something a Little different than the usual trout for... Paradise, the usual trout fishing below Dale Hollow Dam and great smallmouth bass, the midges! Hollow 's lake lore as the river runs a few wild and stocked rainbow trout,,! Three trout streams east of the largest brown trout to add the thrill of light to... The wood is blessed with an abundance of great water to feed: warm water stocking for! Finest tailwaters in the shallows both large and smallmouth bass fishing above are also found throughout this river surface! Are a staple work structure such as rocks, logs, or deep runs other species in the summer large... Clinch river keeps the reservoir at a trophy Yellow Stimulators in # 12- # are! Gravelly areas of the tailwaters with a good chance at catching a quality fish and good numbers larger usual! The underwater mounds, built by prehistoric Indians, that come up to! Tailwater, the Buffalo is rich in aquatic life down on the time of year, smallmouth bass are found. Casting those huge musky flies and fighting the big spring caddis hatch in the 12-15 pound test for... Important, ” James reported … Photo by Meghan Marchetti/DGIF a particularly good watershed with lots of variety impose will. River reputation is built on stamina, acrobatic fights, and the tailwaters with a healthy shad population you.
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