The fun is being had
This is a true story of events during a guided trip on the South Holston River in spring 2019.
Gloria is a name you may hear being yelled from any number of rivers surrounding Asheville, NC. Sometimes its a coaxing whisper, sometimes a frustration yell and sometimes a chuckling cheerful G-L-O-R-I-A. My client, a dry fly purist and wonderful person to vicariously fish through is always searching for HER big fish, "Gloria." Today I heard Gloria's name being called several times from the back of the boat on the South Holston River.
The first time, I heard it echoing off the rock bluff to my 9 0'clock, glooooo-riaaaaa.
I turn around and the rod is bent over and the reel is singing. "Oh gloria" she said and I absolutely chuckled and netted a beautiful 18" wild brown trout caught on a size 18 sulfur mayfly emerger.
A few sighs and sips of water later and I hear the name again. Same deal, same fly, same chuckle. She taps her feet, claps her hands and dips them in the water for a quick grip-n-grin.
The FUN is being had.
While these were solid fish I knew they weren't Gloria. Gloria was a mile or so downstream. I saw her there in a particular location I had been two days prior with my client's husband. He and I spent about 2 hours working a big brown trout on dry flies. We trusted the process, rested the picky eater, tried again and again. We gave it our best but the stars just didn't align during that particular 2 hours.
I think many guides could say that women usually out fish men. I am not sure what magic is working there but its real and i've witnessed it time and time again. I will continue to observe and hopefully learn the magic. I say all this because when we pulled up to Gloria's doorstep she was waiting with a red dress on and passing out lemonade. We spent over an hour presenting flies and resting the fish. Of course, Gloria eventually ate HER fly. If we weren't the last boat on the water, everyone on the river would have heard Gloria's name shouted in unison by all three of us at the top of our lungs. It was such a joyful noise you'd think we were at church or a Van Morrison concert.
Cheers to all the G-L-O-R-I-A-S out there!
The video we did last year "A trip into the wild", which features Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing, Overnight Trips with Safari Camp and Whitewater option, has recently been featured by R.L. Winston Rod Co., Dun Magazine, the Angler Report and Moldychum.com. Check it out!
Special thanks to producer Josh Branstetter and all those involved!
If you are interested in this experience, we are now booking mid-June through mid-October 2018. You can read more info on this experience by clicking here.
Smallmouth Bass + Whitewater Float Trips
These trips are not geared toward whitewater like a whitewater rafting trip.
We venture into these class III & IV waters to target the big,
aggressive Smallmouth Bass that live within.
Trips are full day floats with a two boat minimum.
Multi-day trips with Safari Camp are available.
All guides are River Rescue 3 International &
ACA Level 4 Swiftwater Rescue certified and fully insured.
Spring weather has been like a roller coaster. Never the less, the spring fishing for both Trout and Smallmouth Bass has been excellent. The following pictures are from recent trips...
Summertime is officially here in Asheville, NC! Water levels are above average and conditions are great for fishing and enjoying the outdoors. We've noticed the fishing has been better than the previous two years and we anticipate the trend will continue. Here's a few highlights of what you can find on the water in the Asheville area.
Water temps are just now getting above 70 degrees with average to above average water levels compared to the 100yr. average. While spring has been hit or miss due to rainfall and blown out rivers, the fishing has been very good this year. Those windows of time when the river clears just enough before the next rain are gold. The fish know the rain is coming and they must feed while the livin' is easy. As summer continues and temperatures rise, fishing will start to slow down mid-day. Please consider practicing catch and release and keeping the fish wet. An 18" Smallmouth Bass takes 8-10yrs. to get that big. The top water bite is hot and fish are exploding on frog patterns and boogle bugs. Enjoy!
Sulfurs are hatching on the both the South Holston River & Watauga River, offering great dry fly fishing. Any time now the Japanese Beetles will start falling out of the trees. The Brown Trout will be there waiting and so will we. This event is a blast and offers both beginners and experts the opportunity to sight fish. These rivers fish well year round and boast a dense population of wild Brown Trout. Both rivers are most effectively fished from a driftboat as water levels change daily. Please use caution if you plan on wading and make sure you know the generation schedule.
WNC Delayed Harvest waters have opened as of June 3rd, so wade fishing just got a whole lot tougher. During summer months we recommend floating but if you prefer wading, we recommend going for wild trout in the higher elevation streams. This will take you away from the crowds and into to the wilderness where native Brook Trout aggressively rise to dry flies.
A few shots from recent trips...
July was a good month. It was a hot, busy month on the water. While below average water levels and above average temperatures have made the Smallmouth Bass fishing challenging, the tailwaters in East Tennessee have been fishing great! Since the South Holston River and Watauga River are tailwaters (Rivers fed by a dam where the water comes from the bottom of the lake), they stay cold enough and flow enough for the fish to remain happy. We've been experiencing some extra happy fish this summer with the abundance of Japanese Beetles falling out of the trees. Both brown and rainbow trout are looking for them actively and the Big Brown Trout are on the prowl. The Beetles have been on for two or three weeks and we anticipate they will continue through August. If you want in on the action, give us a call! We still have a little availability in August, so book sooner than later!
Here's a few of July's highlights...
Asheville Fly Fishing Company guide Knox Campbell just got back from fishing Canada. His trip was of a "Guide's day off" nature. A little R&R, R&D, and quality time with friends. Upon his return he had a serious case of perma-grin and a skip in his step. We knew what that meant and being Smallmouth Bass fanatics, we wanted details. So we slid to the edge of our chairs and let the good times roll. Here's what Knox shared with us...
I touched down in Toronto just past mid-night on June 18th. Coincidentally this date has a lot of meaning for me, but for this post the most important fact to keep in mind is that June 18 is the opening day for smallies in Ontario, something we don't appreciate here in the south. The plan was set a year before. Ben, a buddy that I had originally met on a flight to Portugal a few years ago, picked my girlfriend and I up at the airport. Once through customs we walked out the doors and immediately saw Ben waiting. Hugs and back slaps were exchanged and then we were off. After a non-stop 4 hour drive we arrived at our destination- a tiny, glacial lake 20 miles from the St Lawrence Seaway that Ben's family had a cottage on and that had no public access.
It was 4:15 and the sky was just turning grey. Rod, reel, and fly box had been stashed strategically on top of the food rations in the back of the car for easy retrieval, and withing 10 minutes of pulling into the drive we were in the Lund, cutting through the morning air with me standing at the bow, 8 wt in hand, fly line lying at my feet, a freshly tied yellow popping bug on the leader, and the unforgettable feeling you have just before doing something you'd been envisioning and anticipating for a long time. The outboard was silenced and the boat went into a quiet glide. Before Ben even had time to point out a rocky reef I threw my first cast. One pop. Two pops. Pause. Rod tip just over the water. Boom. Big eat and even bigger fish. That first fish of the trip came just as the warm colors of morning bled across the horizon. There were countless fish caught on that trip, but that first fish, and that first morning in Canada, blending with all of the emotions of the past year and a half, was one of the most powerful moments of my life. I said a silent "thank you" to no one in particular, and for a few moments, even with my hands still wet and fishy, forgot about the fishing. I took in the lake and the light, looked at my buddy, and smiled. He knowingly smiled back, and without a word and with eye brows raised, pointed to a rise ring behind me.
Read more about Knox Campbell here
FISHING REPORT: Smallmouth Bass in Asheville
The Smallmouth Bass fishing has been above average this year. Currently we are getting rain and cooler temperatures and the fish are happy. Guided trips have been producing trophy fish on the fly and spin tackle. We target these fish by Drift Boat and Raft and offer all inclusive full day and half day trips. Here's one from last week...
BOOK A TRIP BY MAKING A RESERVATION IN ADVANCE: (828) 779-9008
We've been busy guiding and making memories on the rivers of East Tennessee and Western North Carolina. Spring fishing has been great so far and its just getting started.
Thanks to all our recent guests for making our jobs fun!
Here's a few pictures from this weeks guided trips.
Book a Trip: (828) 779-9008
Happy 4th of July! We are looking forward to watermelon, fireworks, homemade peach ice cream and good days on the water. Hope everyone has a great holiday weekend!