Fishing Report for September 29 to October 5

It’s that perfect time of the year to float eastern Tennessee’s South Holston River, a cornucopia of gargantuan brown trout and husky rainbows. Armed with 7x tippets and Pheasant Tails (#20, #22), we cruised ten miles nymphing all the way and caught plenty of fish, including a brown measuring over 25 inches! At one point, an otter seemed to be following us till a closer look revealed another brownie well over 30 inches!

On the other side of the border—in the Smokies—we waded the Oconaluftee River (the Luftee) where the browns and bows struck our Thunderheads and Elk Hair Caddis. All of the action was on the surface of the river, and we pulled fish from both deep and shallow pockets wherever the sun hit the water. Overall, the Luftee was a little low, but that’ll change this weekend when Sir Ian brings showers our way. This week’s good fortune whetted our appetite for what’s in store for us beginning on October 7 when Delayed Harvest begins.

Yes, folks, we’re less than two weeks away from a marathon of non-stop excitement when the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission begins stocking selected rivers and streams across twenty counties. It’s an angler’s dream! And for most of the fall and winter, you’ll find us floating the Tuckasegee River (the Tuck) seeking a healthy mix of brookies, browns and bows.

We should add that the best time to fish for trout is when the water is cold. To be successful, we must bundle up and meet these fish on their terms. Now’s the time to start booking fall and winter trips with us. Plan on dressing in layers, and stock up on girdle bugs, mop flies and egg patterns. We’re going to bump up our tippet sizes to 4x or 5x and turn our attention to the river bottom. If you’re also a hunter, then book our Cast ‘n Blast option—a morning of hunting geese and an afternoon of trout fishing with an expert who knows the woods and water better than anyone!

Have wonderful weekends!

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