Tennessee's Premier Fly Fishing Guide Service for the Clinch River, Holston River and Caney Fork River As well as the Cumberland River in Kentucky.

Our Most Recent Fishing Report
July 4th-2024

Happy 4th of July! I hope everyone out there has a great, safe and fun 4th of July. Hopefully it may even have some fly fishing fun included. As for me, I’m off the water today for a rare day off on the 4th. It seems like I’ve worked on most of the July 4th’s during my career. I’m not complaining at all though. A little rest and some time together with the family are always welcome.

Now onto the fishing report. I’ll start with addressing our early summer weather patterns. As you know from reading my past reports, east Tennessee saw an above normal amount of rainfall during the winter and spring. Not a lot above normal but enough that we saw area reservoirs reach summer pool before Memorial Day for the first time in many years. Then, June showed up. It seemed that the weekly showers we’d been seeing totally vanished and now we’re pushing the mid 90’s everyday. I believe this is the earliest we’ve seen this warm of a summer in a long time, although we are familiar with summer droughts.

This drought is good and bad news for our streams and rivers. The freestone streams of the southern Appalachians do not enjoy summer drought, while most of the tailwaters do fine with lower summer water. The tailwaters are born from very cold water released from the bottoms of very deep lakes, which remain cool year round. The freestone streams however,depend on springs and rainfall to provide their flow. So they can become very low and warm. Either case, no matter where you fish…..special care should be taken not to stress the fish any more than necessary.

Currently, almost all of my featured rivers are giving workable schedules. This is a bit rare, almost like all the planets lining up, but we’ll take it. It’s been a fun spring and early summer as I’ve had my pick of rivers and now it’s getting even better as we’re seeing workable flows on the Cumberland River as well.

The fishing has been fair to good on most days. We’ve been starting very early to beat the extreme heat. Our best action has been during the morning half of our days. The afternoon fishing is a bit tougher as the high sun makes huge shadows of even the smallest leaders and tippets. We’ve been dealing up the 6x & 7x to deal with spooky fish and lets not forget about small yarn indicators.

Keep your flies simple, small nymphs and smaller midges will carry the load. I’m still seeing caddis (dark #18 to #20) at most rivers and of course our summer sulphurs (#16 - #18) are here and there as well.

Summer time terrestrial season is beginning as well so break out the foam flies. Mid to late summer is terrestrial time and I’ll mostly be fishing on the Cumberland River in south central Kentucky. I have openings there for late July and the last two weeks of August into September. Get on the books while there’s still open days on the calendar.