Monday, December 22, 2008

Randy Ratliff: Holston Smallies

Randy Ratliff of is a Tennessee fishing guide and long time friend of Randy usually goes after giant brown trout but today took time to remind us that during the summer other monsters lurk in the depths of his home water.
While on a beautiful float down the Holston river in East Tennessee this summer, as the day was slowly coming to an end, the water exploded.
Now let me back up and tell you about their day.The husband had been casting flies to every conceivable fish holding spot all along the river. We came to my favorite stretch of the river where many great smallies have come from including a 6 pound beauty. Ted was making casts and meticulously working the fly and picking up many nice average size fish in the 10 to 13 inch range. When his back and arm finally gave out from his several hundred cast day, his lovely wife stood up in the boat and made a cast. This cast was maybe only her twentieth cast of the day. As she worked her fly back to the boat, it started to transition to the surface. She saw the fly coming up towards the boat, suddenly she saw the eyes, then a mouth and then the water exploded as if a small stick of dynamite had gone off. She yelled what do I do, I said just take your time and fight it. After several hard fought minutes, she got the fish to the boat, I scooped this great Holston River specimen into the net. We measured and weighed the smallie and then she held it up for the always great "grip n grin" shot.

Out predominant flies for the day were Todds Wiggle Minnows and light to no weight Clouser Minnows. The fish were staged along the current breaks coming out of the riffles as well as along the grass edges in the big slow pools. This river really fills up with grass during the summer months and can make it tough to bring in the big smallies when they get down and wrapped up in the grass.

If you would like to have a great outdoor experience like this couple, check out my website, or give us a call at 423-360-1468 to book your trip of a lifetime.

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