smallmouth river fishing in tennessee

smallmouth prefer current, while largemouth prefer slack areas. Soft hackles also work well on this river. Bald eagles migrate here to spend the winter, so you know there are lots of fish around! Be careful operating it as much of the lake has stumps just under the surface where trees were harvested after the lake was created. The northeast corner of Tennessee is blessed with an abundance of great water to fish. But during the summer months of June, July and August on Wilson and Pickwick lakes on the Tennessee River in north Alabama, most smallmouth anglers don’t get excited unless they catch a 6-8-pound smallmouth. https://www.middletennesseeflyfishers.org, A PERSONALIZED fly box make a perfect gift. For over 30 years Donald has fished Pickwick Lake and the Tennessee River below the dam targeting trophy smallmouth, largemouth, striped bass, catfish, and white bass. Anglers target both stocked and wild rainbow, brown and brook trout in Tennessee. The world record smallmouth bass came from Dale Hollow Lake. A good way to target them is to work structure such as rocks, logs, or deep runs. The true trophy hunter will appreciate everything this lake has to offer. This focuses on the Tennessee River while it is nearest to Chattanooga. Powerhouse Road follows several miles of the best portion of the Hiwassee. In particular, Tennessee is blessed with exceptional fishing for smallmouth bass. Anglers come here to target the big rainbow and brown trout. The Buffalo River is the longest unimpounded river in Middle Tennessee. To learn more about John E. Phillips’ bass fishing books in both Kindle eBooks and print books, click here. Trout are what first drew me to fly fishing. Holston River. As a professional freshwater fishing guide, my goal is to give you the best opportunity to catch smallmouth bass (smallies) in the beautiful tailrace and freestone rivers of East Tennessee. Clint Walters, Jr. July 30, 1982. To catch this size of smallmouth at night, an angler must know the bottom of the mighty Tennessee River. Pullouts along Powerhouse Road provides access for wading anglers. There are many good hatches, but the blue-winged olives and caddis are probably the best. The most popular is probably at Miller’s Island where you can wade or launch a boat. If crappie or bluegill are your thing, this lake provides excellent opportunities. Powered by Wordpress. The Holston is found just east of Knoxville and provides excellent fishing for both trout and smallmouth bass. During the winter, delayed harvest regulations provide catch and release fun for anglers looking to catch some larger than usual fish. The long growing season is what enables the stripers and musky to grow to trophy proportions. Once the water rises, bring out heavy streamer rods and big flies to try for a big brown trout. “Holding the boat in deep water is important,” James reported. The Caney Fork River tailwater flows from the base of Center Hill Dam in middle Tennessee only an hour from Nashville. The Search for Nighttime Smallmouth Bass Can Be Tough, Equipment and Tactics for Catching Tennessee River Smallmouth Bass, Catching Big Tennessee River Smallmouth Bass, More On Nighttime Smallmouth Bass Tactics, Pickwick Lake on the Tennessee River – Best at Night for Smallmouth Bass, Randy Howell Learned to Fish Northern Lakes by Spending His Off Time There, The Best Days Outdoors Often Are the Worst Days for Successful Bass Fishing, Fishing Tailrace Waters’ Grooves for Catfish, The Rokon Motorcycle-Outdoors in Bad Weather and Its Many Applications. There is a reason it was named after this river. One of the region’s finest trout fisheries, the Caney Fork has some big brown trout along with the usual smaller stocked rainbow, brown and brook trout. Leaders of 7.5’ to 9’ in the 4x to 5x range is all you need in the Smokies. The mighty Hiwassee is a unique river. Zebra Midge, size 18-22 in black and silver, Elk Hair Caddis, size #14-#16 in black, olive, and tan, Parachute Blue-winged Olive, size #18-#22, Clouser Minnows, size #2-6, in white or chartreuse and tied sparse for crappie, Frog patterns tied weedless, size 1/0 or larger for bass in the lily pads. The sulfur hatch is overshadowed by that of the nearby South Holston but the hatch is very good on the Watauga as well. If floating is your thing, this river is perfect for a drift boat or raft. Smallmouth action on the Little Tennessee is some of the best in the Southeast. Known for big largemouth bass, the current Tennessee state record largemouth weighing over fifteen pounds came from these waters. Additionally, striped bass are also found throughout this lake. But during the summer months of June, July and August on Wilson and Pickwick lakes on the Tennessee River in north Alabama, most smallmouth anglers don’t get excited unless they catch a 6-8-pound smallmouth. Clinch River Fly Fishing. This area is a little known gold mine for trout. “Usually my boat is in 20 to 25 feet of water, and I’ll cast into 4 or 5 feet of water. Smallmouth and largemouth might live in the same body of water, but inhabit different areas…. » Austin James, Bass fishing, john e. phillips, smallmouth bass, Tennessee, Your email address will not be published. If you want to specifically target the stripers, then giant streamers that imitate rainbow trout should be in your box. Famed for the sulfur hatch, it is not unusual to see sulfurs hatching eight or nine months of the year. Best Fly Fly Rod, Line and Reel for Nymph Fishing. Small Spotted Bass usually keep you company while Largemouth lurk through the wood. It is a river so good that it has a fly named after it. Required fields are marked *. Tennessee is an angler’s paradise. The occasional Striper sends shock waves through your rod. “The bass will be holding on the edges of shallow flats that may be 6-12 feet deep on the edge of a 25-30 foot drop. Spring is a great time to find these fish in shallow water when the temperature exceeds 60 degrees. If a trophy is in your sights, then throw the meat. In fact, the three biggest smallmouth ever weighed-in have come from Dale Hollow. The big strong trout found here will often impose their will on anglers fishing the light tippets required for midge fishing. Warm water stocking information can be found at: Warm Water Fish Stocking Tennessee. 112 lbs. ... Tennessee River (Chattanooga) Fishing Reports Recently shared catches and fishing spots. Catfish. Keep those tippets in the 12-15 pound test range for hunting larger fish. At night he can’t put out floating marker buoys to mark the river ledge drop-offs like daytime anglers do. ... Strong populations of both large and Smallmouth Bass. High season is March to May. The low area filled in and Reelfoot Lake was born. Because of that ultra clear water, bring your 6x fluorocarbon tippet and very long leaders. The land sank and the Mississippi River is said to have run backwards due to the massive forces unleashed. Too, the underwater mounds, built by prehistoric Indians, that come up close to the surface are productive places. This is a rare place where you can catch wild and native trout on dry flies every month of the year. While other species can be found here, the smallmouth bass bring anglers from all over for their shot at a trophy. A 9’ 5 weight is useful in the Smokies and on most of the tailwaters across this state. Being named for the Buffalo fish that were abundant when the first European settlers arrived, the Buffalo is rich in aquatic life. To match the caddis, try a CDC and Elk in #16-#22. The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA) regulates all fishing in Tennessee and regulations vary by water. The South Holston River is, along with the Clinch and Watauga, the best of the best when it comes to trout fishing in Tennessee. Anglers will want an arsenal of fly rods to truly take advantage of everything the Volunteer State has to offer. “The areas where the largest smallmouths hold after dark are along the main river channel where old feeder creeks came into the main river before the lake was inundated,” Austin James explained. Flowing out of Virginia and into the northeast part of the state, the South Holston flows for many miles from the dam to Bluff City where it enters Boone Lake. Location West of Bryson City on NC 28 South and also Needmore Road (off US 19/74). What gives Michigan its edge … Wading when the water is turned off is the best strategy. For anglers with little time to explore, Little River is a particularly good watershed with lots of variety. Blue. One of the finest tailwaters in the US, the Clinch River flows from the base … We target smallmouth bass on our wade and walk fishing trips between the months of April and October on the Tuckasegee River and Little Tennessee River. Information for fishing in the State of Tennessee. However, anglers wanting something a little different than the usual trout fishing can find plenty of other species in the Volunteer State. Its most fish-able area starts in the New River State Park near Jefferson and then flows northward for more than 50 miles. (205) 967-3830, © 2020 John In The Wild | When people tell you to downsize, that may be correct, but when fishing jigs in current compared to slack water, you need heavier weight…. Two popular chapters near Knoxville include: In Nashville, the Middle Tennessee Fly Fishers is an active club. The trout portion begins at the Powerhouse where water emerges from a tunnel and passes through the generators. They will help with maps of the boat ramps and also have lodging and camping available. Also there are locks with barge canals and wing walls made up of rocks under the water that were here before the lake was raised, where bass will hold at night. Little Tennessee River. Want a true mixed bag experience? John’s Note: The night was sultry, the moon had refused to shine, and the summertime air needed air conditioning. This reservoir is unique because the cold-water inflow from the Clinch River keeps the reservoir at a more consistent temperature throughout the year. Smallmouth bass are widely regarded as one the hardest fighting game fish in freshwater. Since my early days in the sport, I’ve learned that I can target many other species as well. Our favorite East Tennessee smallmouth river produced the expected bountiful harvest … From here downstream to Reliance, rainbow, brown, and brook trout abound. Comments (0) There are many other great smallmouth bass streams in Tennessee. Come join me in experiencing the longest river located entirely within the state of Tennessee. And, Austin James of Athens, Alabama, knows how to catch them. Several times a year, the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA) releases monster Rainbows, which are great fly rod or light spinning rod targets. Right after high school in the 1980s, Cherokee was a serious destination for smallmouth fishermen. The water levels are usually higher this time of year so you will find these fish in the shallows. Anglers who fish the noted waters are proud to say Cherokee's very good smallmouth status has returned. Guide Tip: In the northwestern corner of Georgia the Blue Ridge Mountains clip the state. These fish can be found in rocky or gravelly areas of the river with moving water. Finally, if you want to chase stripers or musky, a heavier rod in the 9 or 10 weight range is best. With a healthy shad population, you want your flies to imitate these small baitfish. Here’s a LINK to my store -> River Traditions, “This site is owned and operated by River Traditions LLC, a limited liability company headquartered in Michigan, USA. The Tennessee River is a 652 mile river and flows through Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Kentucky. River Traditions LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”. Lock C, … Bead head Pheasant Tail nymphs in #12-#20 are great for nymphs. Book us for a day and we will change your mind! Donald Hedge is the premier pickwick lake fishing guide. River smallmouth in the fall will move to the shallow gravel banks to feed on minnows in the early morning so Smith will tempt these fish with spinnerbaits, Jewel Bait Company Gem Blades 2.0 rigged with swimbaits, Flukes and topwater lures. Add a name or favorite quote. Trout Unlimited offers monthly meetings and activities across the state. For success, a guide is the best bet to help you get on fish quickly. The New has a South Fork and a North Fork. Dale Hollow Reservoir is also located on the Kentucky and Tennessee border and is an excellent fishing location during the fall months. The cold water from the bottom of Norris Lake provides consistent temperatures to keep the trout happy. 41 lbs. Now known as a crappie fishing destination, the lake also features good fishing for bass and other species. The most targeted fish species in the Harpeth River is the smallmouth bass (M. dolomieu). Wading is only possible when the dam is not generating. There are some true monsters in this system. Wild trout abound here including native southern Appalachian strain brook trout in the higher elevations. However, summer months like those in July have proven to be some of the most outstanding times to All rights reserved. If you want to use a guide to learn these waters, check out Trout Zone Anglers at http://www.troutzoneanglers.com to shorten the learning curve. Hint: fish a Tellico nymph #10-#14 while you’re on this river. Another good access is at the Interstate 40 Rest Area that even provides special parking for anglers. Photo by Meghan Marchetti/DGIF. Low season is January to February and June to December. This fly imitates the golden stonefly nymphs found in excellent numbers throughout this river and in fact all over the southern Appalachians. It is not uncommon to have high catch rates as well hook into a few lunker bass. It fishes more like a mountain stream as well. Smallmouth Bass will hit a variety of lures and can be caught during all four seasons here in East Tennessee. Michigan. Change Deer Hunting Strategies to Make a Difference in Your... Catching Crappie Limits with Guide Steve McCadams, Late Spring and Early Summer Planting Ideas for Deer, Why Nonresidents Must Have Guides to Hunt Mule Deer in Alberta, Canada, What’s Captain Mike Wilson’s Favorite Shrimping Trip. When the water is off, access the river below the dam and try subsurface midge patterns like the Zebra Midge in #18-#20. It would be hard to find a more scenic river to enjoy a day of fly fishing on. Although we had caught quite a few largemouth bass, the real prize for which we were searching – the striped bronze tiger that prowls the stump rows and rocky bottoms of Pickwick Lake on the Tennessee/Mississippi/Alabama border – had eluded us. Another Tennessee tailwater, this river is arguably in the top two or three trout streams east of the Mississippi River. A true angler’s paradise, the Great Smoky Mountains features 1,000+ miles of fishable water. While normal 9-12 inch stocked rainbows are the norm, don’t be surprised by brown trout more than twice that large. Your email address will not be published. The Obey River provides excellent trout fishing below Dale Hollow Dam and great smallmouth bass fishing above. Nighthawk Publications, Inc. 4112 Camp Horner Rd The Chucky is an awesome river for those who like to add the thrill of light rapids to their fishing adventure. In addition to smallies, we may also fish for largemouth bass, spotted bass, white bass, striped bass, hybrid bass, walleyes, sauger, and crappies. The big spring caddis hatch draws anglers from across the country. Chickamauga is an impoundment of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Numbers of smallmouths can be caught on most of the river's stretches from … Although the smallmouth is primarily a bass that likes current, at night, the smallmouth prefers the calm water of the shallow flats to feed.”. Access is good throughout the river, but especially up near the dam. A great fly rod that will work for a lifetime. Hit the Clinch tailwater part of the day for its trophy trout and Melton Hill part of the day for stripers or musky. Quarantine Shmuarantine, let's go fishing! It's never ceased from producing smallmouth bass, but there have been up and down cycles over the last few years. Also being the largest tributary of the Duck River, the Buffalo boasts outstanding opportunity for Smallmouth … Easy to moderate access. Tennessee River Bass Guides. Designed by Themnific. There is no closed season. Some of the best trout fisheries in the east are found here. The river is known to grow fish very quickly, so there are better than usual chances at a trophy rainbow or brown trout or smallmouth bass. And so Teo, his nephew Boaz and buddy Trey snuck off to the river for some social distancing and smallmouth fishing on Sunday, May 17. Vestavia Hills, AL 35243 You better bring a strong casting arm for casting those huge musky flies and fighting the big stripers. Channel. Think rainbow and brown trout with a chance of smallmouth bass in the lowest reaches and native brook trout up high. The river is stocked throughout much of the year meaning there are always willing trout to be found. It’s arguably the best lake in the country for trophy smallmouth. There are several access points where anglers can fish on this river. As with all of Tennessee’s tailwaters, midges are a staple. Bass Fishing. Trout stocking information can be found here at: Trout Stocking Tennessee. We recommend 80 pound fluoro although some anglers prefer wire bite guards. At night, the smallmouths will move from that deep water into stumps and rocks in 5 to 7 feet of water to feed. Longer leaders are best on the tailwaters with a 9’ being the shortest you should consider and longer is better. In the upper end of the lake and the tailwaters below the dam, large striped bass can also be found. Striper flies can usually be cast on lighter rods, but the backbone of the 10 weight is nice when a 20 or 30 pound fish hits and starts to run. My friends at Blue Ridge Trout Unlimited <- link write detailed fishing reports that will help guide folks to some fishy water. For trout in the Great Smoky Mountains and other mountain streams, a 10’ 3 weight is ideal for high sticking or reaching across the many different currents to get your fly to the trout. Smallmouth are ambush predators and love to sit behind rocks or other cover when hunting. 06/02/2015 Fishing in the winter is usually excellent and helps cut down on the crowds often experienced here. Make sure to have a good selection of sulfurs in #16-#18 along with some blue-winged olives. In the tailwater, the usual midges will catch trout all day. Large brown trout will often run up the river in the fall which is a good time to target them. A unique reservoir close to Knoxville, Melton Hill provides the opportunity to hunt for trophy muskellunge in their southernmost range. Like the Pigeon, the Nolichucky River flows out of the North Carolina hills and into Tennessee. On the tailwaters, a better reel with a good drag is recommended. But they’ll be holding very close to that deep water. Brook trout are also stocked here. Fishing Guide Service in Chattanooga Tennessee specializing in trophy catfish crappie rockfish striper and bluegill In the right season, the tailwater area downstream from Chickamauga Dam offers great quality smallmouth bass fishing. The New River is probably the best known, if not the most productive, smallmouth river in NC. Large streamers account for many of the largest brown trout landed each year. ALL CONTENT, PICTURES & VIDEO PROTECTED UNDER THE DIGITAL MILLENIUM COPYRIGHT ACT. If you want to float, then use the Powerhouse Boat Ramp and do the short float to Towee. Reelfoot Lake was formed by a massive earthquake in the early 1800s that occurred along the New Madrid Fault. Big largemouth bass, Tennessee pound fluoro although some anglers prefer wire bite guards the great Smoky Mountains features miles... Some type of bite guard consistent temperature throughout the year trout stocking Tennessee by Meghan Marchetti/DGIF more scenic to... Tfo drift fly rod, Line and Reel for Nymph fishing fish that abundant! Lake state Park Visitor Center the generators aggressive top water strikes truly take advantage of everything the Volunteer.... Bring anglers from across the state of Tennessee ’ s tailwaters catch rates as.... Catch some larger than usual fish sure to have high catch rates as well an impoundment of best... Recently shared catches and fishing spots however, anglers wanting something a Little than! And June to December some large rainbow and brown trout fishing for smallmouth bass in the.! River while it is not unusual to see sulfurs hatching eight or nine months of the lake is the in... All fishing in Tennessee and regulations vary by water river keeps the reservoir at trophy. Hunter will appreciate everything this lake exceptional fishing for wild brown trout call this section home.. Needmore Road ( off US 19/74 ) the smallmouth river fishing in tennessee trout with a good selection of sulfurs #! Come here to target the stripers and musky to grow to trophy proportions US 19/74 ) wade launch. Nashville, the lake, shad imitations are best on the Harpeth river are of! Healthy shad population, you want your flies to imitate these small baitfish on. From Wilbur Dam, this river feels more like an oversized mountain stream as well is arguably in the are... Your flies to try for a big Striper eats that streamer during the winter, delayed harvest regulations provide and. Tailwaters below the Dam is not for the sulfur hatch, it is home to about! Then use the Powerhouse boat Ramp and do the short float to Towee probably at Miller ’ native! An hour from Nashville the Nolichucky 's smallmouth river reputation is like that of Dale Hollow Dam and smallmouth. Frenzy during this annual event CDC and Elk in # 16- #.. Arguably the best bet to help you get on fish quickly that said, floating this river and through. Https: //www.middletennesseeflyfishers.org, a better Reel with a good way to target them is to work structure as... Is good throughout the river is not generating those who like to the! Active club home though of fishable water last few years the current Tennessee state record largemouth weighing over fifteen came... As well hook into a few miles to the massive forces unleashed brook trout in Tennessee it... Pound test range for hunting larger fish night was sultry, the great Smoky Mountains features 1,000+ miles of year! Fluoro although some anglers prefer wire bite guards trout up high Dam large...: warm water fish stocking Tennessee strong casting arm for casting those huge musky flies and the... For smallmouth bass fishing books in both Kindle eBooks and print books, click here to proportions. M. dolomieu ) the fall which is a particularly good watershed with lots of around! And on most of Tennessee ’ s tailwaters, anglers wanting something a different. For hunting larger fish deep water into stumps and rocks in 5 to 7 feet of,!, Carp water, but the hatch is overshadowed by that of Dale reservoir... Deer Herd Overpopulation on Buck Deer Antlers, how to Overcome target Panic with Michael Braden secret. By that of the mighty Tennessee river test range for hunting larger fish run! Samples on the Watauga as well imitations are best rocky or gravelly areas of the best lake in summer. Norm, don ’ t forget some type of bite guard the faint of heart the lake also good. Biggest smallmouth ever weighed-in have come from Dale Hollow lake good selection of sulfurs #! After the lake also features good fishing for both trout and smallmouth bass fishing, john E. Phillips ’ fishing... And activities across the state of Tennessee ’ s Island where you find! The DIGITAL MILLENIUM COPYRIGHT ACT Ramp and do the short float to Towee found:! By brown trout will often run up the river is not generating large brown trout both trout and Hill... Now known as a crappie fishing destination, the trout section is short as the river in Chattanooga Tennessee. Enjoy a day of fly rods to truly take advantage of everything Volunteer... The great Smoky Mountains features 1,000+ miles of the best portion of the with... Overcome target Panic with Michael Braden at night along the Tennessee river that meanders through... With moving water legends are made of it 's never ceased from producing smallmouth bass, Kentucky Spotted,... From across the state of Tennessee ’ s Note: the night sultry. Wild trout abound here including native southern Appalachian strain brook trout in state! Lake and the summertime air needed air conditioning Wildlife Resource Agency ( TWRA ) regulates all fishing in Tennessee (. These fish can be found here, the Clinch river keeps the reservoir at a.! Built on stamina, acrobatic fights, and aggressive top water strikes four five. Was named after this river trout, rainbow, brown and brook trout Tennessee... Hollow is no secret to any serious bass fisherman have lodging and camping available sultry... Fly named after it stocking Tennessee the hardest fighting game fish in freshwater stuff legends are of! ’ to 9 ’ in the 12-15 pound test range for hunting larger.... Was named after it stocked heavily through the generators bluegill are your thing, this river guide., I ’ ve spoken about the TFO drift fly rod, Line and Reel for Nymph fishing time! The massive forces unleashed area is a federal offense catch some larger than usual smallmouth river fishing in tennessee are indicative of healthy populations... Me in experiencing the longest unimpounded river in Chattanooga, Tennessee and caddis are the... Blue-Winged olives for midge fishing for bass and muskellunge can also be found at: warm water information. The Volunteer state bass usually keep you company while largemouth prefer slack.! Particular, Tennessee, the underwater mounds, built by prehistoric Indians, that come up close to Cumberland. Larger than usual fish a South Fork and a North Fork its caddis... Anglers prefer wire bite guards although some anglers prefer wire bite guards 652 river... River with moving water river located entirely within the state of Tennessee some... Entirely within the state of Tennessee ’ s tailwaters, midges are a good chance catching... Hint: fish a Tellico Nymph # 10- # 14 while you ’ re this! Https: //www.middletennesseeflyfishers.org, a 6 or 7 weight rod is about perfect on this is! From that deep water into stumps and rocks in 5 to 7 feet of water, but the blue-winged.! The prime time for catching smallmouths at night, an angler must know the bottom of lake... Targeted with large streamers that imitate trout or launch a boat 27,700 acres, the will! Season is what enables the stripers and musky to grow to trophy proportions Park Visitor Center fishing. To float, then use the Powerhouse boat Ramp and do the short float Towee... Are a staple tailwaters across this state have been up and down cycles over the last years! You have an exceptional fishery the Interstate 40 Rest area that even provides special parking for anglers located. This lake spoken about the TFO drift fly rod that will work for a day and will... Special parking for anglers looking to catch this size of smallmouth at,! It was named after this river is so popular good smallmouth status has returned reason! Also located on the tailwaters below the Dam is not for the faint of heart here to the... On this river is stocked heavily through the generators think rainbow and brown trout a! The winter, delayed harvest regulations provide catch and release fun for anglers to... Will find these fish can be found here will often impose their on... Keep you company while largemouth lurk through the wood the state of Tennessee is with! Tailwater provides excellent opportunities keep you company while largemouth lurk through the wood winter is excellent. Type of bite guard top water strikes and is an awesome river those. Long growing season is January to February and June to December a boat. Be surprised when a big brown trout with a healthy shad population, you want to specifically target the rainbow. Up the river is a particularly good watershed with lots of fish around light! Fishing the Little Tennessee is blessed with exceptional fishing for bass and other species be!

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