Finally, a bit of a break from the arctic chill which felt like it was here forever! With the slight rise in temperatures here in the Highcountry, this makes for a great time to get out and do some fishing in one of our many local wild and stocked trout streams. Delayed Harvest waters are still going strong and now that they aren’t frozen solid, those fish will want to eat!

However, the water temps are still going to be slow, meaning the fish will be lethargic and really need to be enticed in order to strike. Fishing attractors such as egg patterns and squirmy worms will help get their attention. These patterns can then be trailed by a smaller nymph or midge (Pheasant Tails, Zebra Midges, Baetis, etc.) can be very effective tactics to find the winter bites. In some cases you may need to literally drift your fly into the fishes mouth to get them to feed.

As always, when heading out during the winter be sure to bundle up and use caution when wading. Bringing a warm hat and gloves, as well as wearing a warm pair of pants and socks under your waders is key. If you don’t have a good pair of fishing gloves or wading socks, come on by and we’ll get you all geared up for the cold and ready to catch some fish!



As we eagerly await the arrival of springtime fishing here in the highcountry, it can be a frustrating time of year to be a fisherman. With the local rivers and streams finally starting to thaw out after the deep freeze we were under for the past couple weeks, I’m sure everyone is itching to get back on the water (I know I was). However, these frozen weeks don’t have to go to complete waste, as this makes for the perfect ti me to organize your fishing gear and fly tying materials. It’s also a great time to clean your waders and boots and help us in preventing the spread of whirling disease in our local waters.

To do so, first rinse them thoroughly. You can then wash them with a mixture of water and either powdered laundry detergent, or dish soap, using a 5% solution mixture. That is 1 cup of either detergent or dish soap, per gallon of water. Then be sure to let them air dry completely for at least 48 hours. Make sure to let them dry completely and do not store them while moist as this can lead to mold or mildew growth.

As for the fishing, now that the waters aren’t frozen solid, there are plenty of trout to be caught here in the Highcountry! On my first trip out since the rivers thawed out, zebra midges and small pheasant tails nymphs saw a lot of success when dropped below a size 10 salmon egg pattern. Additionally, our float trips down on the Tennessee tailwaters are doing exceptionally well with some great brown trout action. Don’t let a little cold weather keep you from getting out and catching the fish of a lifetime!