May 2016 Fly Fishing Newsletter
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Some of the Best Fly Fishing of the Year is Happening Right Now

Fishing is hot all across middle and east Tennessee. In this month's newsletter, find out more on where to find the best fishing right now in both the Smokies and on our great tailwater fisheries.

Caney Fork is Hot

After a seemingly endless eternity of high water, the Caney Fork now has good flows for both wade and float trips. Excellent numbers of fish are being caught on most trips with some nicer sized trout getting in the mix as well.

This past Monday's float trip saw probably 40-50 fish put in the boat with several browns in the 15-17 inch range.  We hooked and nearly landed a large 19-20" rainbow trout but it broke off on a last second surge. A few days prior to that, a couple of beginners on a half day wade trip each landed probably 20-30 trout. This is probably one of the best times of the year to get a shot at some larger trout before they are hammered through the summer.

Once the summer crowds begin in earnest, this river will be very crowded. I highly recommend only fishing it on weekdays from here through Labor Day if at all possible, to the extent that I usually will not schedule a guided trip on the weekend. The crowds are just too frustrating for both anglers and the guide.

If you are looking for a great float trip, contact me about booking your day on the water. Next week I have two open days, one thanks to a cancelation. That means you have the opportunity to get on this good fishing before the summer madness begins on Memorial Day Weekend. If you want a last second trip, I have Monday and Wednesday (May 23 and 25) open for either a half or full day float. Wade trips also available upon request. I also have some days open the first and second week in June and a smattering of days available throughout the rest of the month.

The Clinch River is also fishing very well now so check with me if you want to get in on fishing this technical but very rewarding tailwater.

Smallmouth Bass Coming on Strong

One of the best times of the year is here for any angler who loves catching the hard-fighting smallmouth bass on the surface. Last week, I got out for a few hours with a buddy and after some early experimenting, we spent the rest of the day catching them on topwater patterns such as Stealth Bombers and various poppers. This fishing will only improve as we head into the hot summer months. The Cumberland Plateau smallmouth bass streams are rugged so I only recommend these trips for those who are in good physical shape and are capable of wading in some rough stretches of river. The reward? Healthy smallmouth bass in pristine rivers. If you are up for an adventure chasing smallmouth and panfish on the Cumberland Plateau streams, contact me at for more information on these trips.

Dry Fly Fishing Peaking in the Smokies

Dry fly anglers are having a blast right now, especially on foul weather days. Fishing is great just about anywhere you go in the Park right now. Bright sunny days can put the fish off just a little, but clouds and some light rain can create the perfect conditions for some of the most epic fishing you will find in the southeast.

Current hatches include Sulfurs, Light Cahills, Blue-winged Olives, Pale Evening Duns, and of course Little Yellow Stoneflies. Terrestrials are really coming on strong now as well. Isonychias should be showing up any day along with Golden Stoneflies.

The evening dry fly bite is good to great depending on the day. Be prepared to stay out until sunset to get on the best action. Currently, I'm offering full day guide trips that start later than normal to allow for staying late in the evening to take advantage of the evening hatch. Half day trips are also available to hit these evening hatches. Contact me for more information at or call/text (931) 261-1884. 

Thank You

I know that a lot of random email clutters up people's inboxes these days, so thank you very much for taking the time to open and read this email. I hope it has encouraged you to get out and enjoy the great fly fishing options we have here in middle and east Tennessee.

If you are interested in booking a guided fly fishing trip with me, please email me at or call/text at (931) 261-1884. You can also visit my guide site or my blog, the Trout Zone. Finally, I'm slowly making additions to a new website,, which will feature fishing across the area with more details on places to go. Check it out!

Copyright © 2016 Trout Zone Anglers, All rights reserved.

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