From Fly Rod to Frying Pan

Outdoor excitement never wanes in the Great Smoky Mountains! Whether we’re floating the Tuckasegee River (the Tuck), fishing creeks in the park, or wading wild-trout or undesignated waters, we’re catching a mess of fish, and we’d love to share that joy with you! You’re just a few clicks away from joining us!

In the Bryson City area of the Tuck, where the river is fairly low and somewhat murky, we’ve had excellent luck dry dropping and Euro nymphing in pocket water. Now that the river’s warming up, we’re targeting faster runs, looking for rougher, more-oxygenated white water. Last Saturday, with temps in the mid-80s, we crept along at 700 cubic feet per second (cfs) from Grumpy Bear to Deep Creek, focusing on riffly spots and caught several rainbows on pink Squirmy Worms and Girdle Bugs. These days, we’d suggest getting started at dawn when the river’s coolest and exercising caution when water temperatures exceed 65 degrees. Trout become stressed under such conditions.

As we head into the warmer days of summer, your best bet for pursuing trout would be fishing the cooler streams in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP), particularly Deep Creek, Straight Fork and the Oconaluftee River (the Luftee). In general, rainbows and brown trout inhabit the lower-elevation waters, but higher up you might score some native brook trout. Once the dog days are upon us, stick to higher-elevation waters, walk softly and wear neutral-colored clothes.

Summer is also the season for smallmouth bass, and nothing compares to fighting a smallie on a fly rod! Book a float down the Tuck or the Little Tennessee where trusty green and yellow poppers have proved irresistible to these fish. If spinning gear is your thing, then try blue-backed Rapalas and Rooster Tails. But be sure to use single-hook variants of these lures when fishing in the GSMNP.

To add to the summer fun, there’s a movie being filmed in our neck of the woods called Summer Camp, starring Alfre Woodard, Kathy Bates and Diane Keaton! We’ve had the pleasure of providing the crew with waders for the shoot and look forward to seeing these stellar actors on the big screen, enjoying one of our favorite pastimes!

We’re waiting for you,
Patrick Ambrose

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