Monday, September 24, 2007

Randy Ratliff's East Tennessee Fishing Reports

Photo: Troutfishers Guide Service helps put Tim Linehan of Trout Unlimited Television on his first Smallie in 20 years.

Randy Ratliff of the TroutFishers Guide Service posts the following East Tennessee fishing report:

Troutfishers Guide Service, Randy Ratliff
When: September 2007
South Holston, Watauga, Holston Proper

Hello everyone, it looks like we are finishing up the Summer season and the Fall season is upon us. The cooler temperatures are a relief from the scorching hot temperature we have had lately. We are seeing some rains to help with water flow, but it is not enough to recover from the drought.

Mark your calendars to come and see us at Jesse Brown's on Thursday September 27th, 6:30pm at their Sharon Corners store in Charlotte, North Carolina. We will be giving a presentation on Fall and Winter fishing in East Tennessee. Here is a link for further information and directions:

On Saturday September 29th I will be at the Orvis Store in Raleigh talking on Fly Fishing in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I hope you can come out and see our presentations. Here is a little report on how the fishing has been here in East Tennessee:

South Holston

The morning wade and afternoon float trips are doing very well. We use terrestrials and sulphur emergers while wading. All areas of the river are fishing good. Our afternoon float trips during generation have been great. We see the sulphurs really start coming off around 2pm and we have been using a size 16 tan comparadun to bring many nice rainbows and browns to the boat. When the hatch slows down we use terrestrials near the bank and swing soft hackles in the better current lines. Seeing those big browns slurp a beetle or cricket off the surface is something to see.


The Watauga has seen some local rain showers each evening and it is helping with the float trips. We are using small beadhead Pheasant Tails and Zebra Midges while nymphing. There is a small tan caddis hatching and craneflies are still coming off as well. We are not seeing the BWOs yet. When we float during generation it is olive and black Woolly Buggers (size 6) that produce the most. Our "Dumb Blonde" and "Plum Crazy" buggers are also doing great. It is about time to see the October Caddis start popping and we are looking forward to this hatch.

The Holston Proper

The smallmouth action has been very good for the last couple of weeks. The action has been mainly topwater poppers with an occasional fish on clousers and hellgrammite imitations. We have been seeing 30 to 50 fish days while floating. The grass is thick in the lower river but the fish are holding in it. They are chasing minnows getting ready for Fall.

Mountain Streams

With the drought conditions these streams are very low. Stoney Creek at one point has gone underground. Many of my prime streams are just down to a trickle so we have been not fishing these waters.

We still have dates available for Fall and early Winter fishing. Give us a call at 423-360-1468 or email me at to set up a fishing trip for you.

Randy Ratliff
Troutfishers Guide Service


Mike C said...

Does Randy handle trout as despicably as he does smallmouth?
I'm in pain just looking at the poor fish.

Murdock said...

Actually the photo is of Tom Linehan of Trout Unlimited TV who was a customer of Troutfisher's guide service.

To Mike's point here is a link about the problems with lip holding a bass.

Here is an excerpt:

By using jaws as levers to rotate hanging bass away from vertical to a "more natural" horizontal position with one hand; TV anglers, outdoor writers, and average fishermen have unnecessarily strained jaw tissues. Tissue damage occurs long before bones break. It may take 13 or more pounds to break a bass jaw completely, but strain occurs anytime the jaw is distorted beyond the full-open position naturally used by bass. We don't need to carelessly give every released bass a "jaw ache."