Randy Ratliff of the Troutfisher's Guide Service sends us this week's fishing report from East Tennessee.
Hello everyone, I hope you all had an enjoyable holiday season. I was able to spend time with family and friends celebrating Christmas and ringing in the New Year. We had a great year last in 2008 and I want to thank all those who took trips with me. I am looking forward to another good year for 2009 as well.
I am back to guiding and booking trips as Troutfishers Guide Service once again. There will be no changes in where we will be able to take you on your trips, local wades trips in Western North Carolina and East Tennessee or float trips on the Tennessee Tailwaters.
I am also pleased to announce that I am affiliated with Eddie Wyatt’s Fly Shop of Tennessee. Eddie and his crew, Major Mike, Hutch, and Mike J. are a great bunch of guys. Make sure to give them a call or stop by for all you’re fishing and tying needs. I will be doing various casting and tying class/demonstrations at the fly shop throughout the year so be sure to check the fishing report on my website for details.
We are already booking trips for the 2009 season, especially during the Watauga Tailwater caddis hatch. The caddis have started their emergence around April 9th for the last several years, running through Mothers Day on into the first of June. Be sure to give me a call and get your caddis hatch trip on the calendar before the dates disappear. The smallmouth guys are booking up their trips as well. Pound for pound a smallmouth is the best fighting freshwater fish out there. Of course one of my clients, Mark Murphy might disagree. He caught a nice 9-½ pound blue channel cat while on a smallie trip. Don’t forget about our overnight river camping smallmouth trips. I will be putting more info about this on my website.
The South Holston browns are through spawning. It was a sight to see all those big beautiful browns doing their spawning dance. Many nice fish ranging from mid twenties to just over forty inches were caught and released this year.
We are now seeing the BWO’s as the predominant hatch on both the Watauga and South Holston tailwaters. We have been throwing a size 18 to 22 BWO emerger we call the “Down & Dirty”.
Have you wanted learn how to fish those small size 22 to 30 blackfly and midge dries, come book a trip and let me unlock the secrets of this type of fishing. We have been having good days with plenty of average trout and a few good ones thrown in. The best so far on a size 26 dry with 7x tippet has been a 19 ½ inch brown. It is not as intimidating as you would think.
We will be attending two fly fishing shows this year. I will be in the Temple Fork Rods booth at the Atlanta Fly Fishing Festival being held January 24th & 25th in the Gwinnett Center. Be sure to stop and say hello. Our second show will be the Kentuckianna Fly Show being put on by the Derby City Fly Fishers in Louisville, Kentucky on January 31st. I will be giving one of the many seminars available at the event. I will be speaking about smallmouth fishing tips and techniques. We will have the Brookie Skiff boat on display in the booth. I am proud to say that I helped my guide partner Nes help build this beautiful boat last winter. Check out Derby City Fly Fishers website for more details and directions to the convention center www.derbycityflyfishers.com
Well until next month, tight lines and bent rods.