NO More Bait

I’ll make this short and sweet. Previously I have offered catfish and striper trips using live and cut bait. Though it is fun, I will no longer be offering this service. I learned a lot about fish behavior using these tactics but I have concluded that it is irresponsible to teach them. Simply put, its too easy to kill fish and the time I devoted to it detracted quality from my other trips. I’m no snob when it comes to methods but its all artificials from here on out.


TN Trout fishing forecast 11/06


Fishing has really perked up the past few weeks. Cooler weather and chili rain has jw11.jpgrefreshed our reservoirs and in turn fired up our tailwaters. Better generation schedules for Norris Dam are providing good opportunities for wade and drift anglers alike. The fishing is fairly straight forward, larger pheasant tails, eggs, and worms with a smaller PT or midge trailing. Run this rig under a yarn indicator the depth of the water and half again, you may have to make some adjustments with weight and depth but this formula will get you close. Streamer fishing is picking up but to my knowledge the main show is yet to come. For you streamer addicts I would fish smaller articulated streamer and wooly buggers in tandem, yellow white and black have produced best for me.  A 7wt rod paired with a 200 to 300 grain sinking line should do the job nicley.  I would expect generation to stay more or less the same. Low water in the morning followed by mid morning or mid day generation. That being said always check the schedule before you wade or launch a boat.  will give you all the info you need to plan your fishing trip to the clinch.

IMG_0971.jpgThe Holston tailwater below Cherokee Dam has finally cooled down enough to fish with a clean conscience. Water temps are hovering around 60 degrees and should continue to drop. Flows will be much less predictable on the Holston , I honestly dont expect TVA to run many low water schedules  because Cherokee lake is somewhat high for this time of year. In the event TVA offers a window to fish you may have some killer fishing. You will need a diverse flybox stocked with olive and orange caddis dries 12-20 parachute adams 14-20 griffith gnats and other midge dries 18-22. Nymph wise you can never beat a size 16 bhpt but having a selection of weights and sizes will serve you well, other than that look towards midges, caddis larvae, and eggs to produce sub surface. Again always check the flows before accessing the rivers 

I hope this information is helpful and helps give some direction in your fishing and as always if you would like to book a trip and view our rivers through my lense don’t be afraid to drop me a line or call 865-363-8180

Lastley I would like to thank Matt Crockett at 3 Rivers Anglers for being an extra set of eyes and ears on the water.  If you are visiting Knoxville swing by the shop and top off your fishing kit in East Tennessee’s best flyshop. 5113 kingston pike #C 37919 865-200-5271


Making friends with the Grinch

Late Summer and early Fall can mean less than ideal conditions for trout and difficult fishing for trout fisherman. This is true for most trout fisheries but especially true for the Clinch River, which some locals lovingly refer to as “The Grinch”. Knoxville’s flagship tailwater generally hovers in the low 50’s come hell or high water. In wet years, like 2013 and now again this year,  TVA has to move lots of water to keep Norris Lake within its operating guide. As a result, the oxygen levels take a dip, and the water temperature that is normally stinging cold most of the year is a comfortable wet wade at 61-63 degrees. Though plenty cool enough by the standards of most ethical anglers, the warm conditions our fish are encountering  have them relatively stressed out.

Given our current situation, here are a few tips for making friends with The Grinch and leaving her fish as healthy as when you hooked them.TVABR090517

  • Rig heavy. Fish will literally fight themselves to death right now and I’ve seen it first hand. If you’re fishing the low water schedule leave the 7x at home. If you’re fishing a release of water, up size your fly and and reach for the 4 and 5x. Clinch river trout have plenty of spunk and if played too long in these conditions they will sometimes go belly up on a joy ride.

  • If you need to get a picture have a plan. I’ve seen it too many times – a fish is landed, the angler is on cloud 9 and breaks every rule of fish handling in the meantime. Know where your camera is, know your angles, have your camera adjusted to the right settings before lifting the fish out for a quick photo-op. It is essential this time of year that the fish is out of water for as little time as possible.

  • Keep your distance from other anglers. Especially on lower flows, the glassy nightmare that can be the The Grinch will turn on you in traffic. Take the far side of the river, speed up, or slow down. Even if means getting low holed, if you give the water time to rest the fish will feed again.

  • Fish Streamers on the big water. Aside from being my favorite way of fishing, streamers allow you to rig very heavy, meaning you’ll get that fish in the boat while he/she is still green and release it to swim another day

    Get out there, keep fishing, keep making memories, and keep ’em wet! As always, if you find yourself interested in learning about our rivers, the sport of fly fishing, or just want to have a fun day on the river drop me line at or call 865-363-8180


Fishing report 7/5/17

After a long rainey spring that has had the lakes and rivers brim full, early summer seems to be coming into its own. Fantastic flows on our local cold and warm tailwaters have triggered the best fishing of the season yet.
DSC_0729Though the Clinch river has not had much in the way of hatches, the nymph fishing has been out standing.  Shallow indicator rigs with a small Pheasant Tail or midge (size 16-20) have been putting up big numbers. But don’t over look your dry fly game all together. small midge patterns like griffith gnats and RS2 can be deadly when the the fish are rising consistently.  My most important advice is to hit the water early right now, as soon as the sun sets in for the day the fishing slows down to a crawl. All that being said guide tripsDSC_0730 have been very successful with novice anglers landing plenty of fish and seasoned veterans laying into plenty of wise slot limit fish. Most of my anglers who can unfold a 30 ft cast are boating 25 to 40 fish a day ranging from 10 to 18 inches.
IMG_20170620_091522_366Fly fishing for Striper and throwing artificials on conventional tackle has been fantastic and will stay that way for several weeks. Some days you can slap a gurgler 10 feet from the boat and get smashed and others you may have to empty a spool of sinking line to get to the fish but they are eating consistently.  Most of my fishing lately has taken place on the lower clinch river system but the Tennessee River below Ft. Loudon and Watts Bar have been producing as well. I would advise that you use extreme caution when fishing immediately below any dam. Most days it resembles a scene from “Water World” or “Mad Max”, so be careful and watch out for unsafe boaters. 20170601_152826
Now is the perfect time to book your trout or striper adventure. Feel free to contact me with any questions you have and I will put together a trip to be remembered.

Capt. Jon Oody



The Small Jaw

Small Jaws

img952012091295110938-1-1Smallmouth have always been near and dear to  my heart and have given me on some of my most memorable experiences on the water. Now I am offering those experiences to you.  Tennessee Valley Anglers will offering full and half day smallmouth trips on the Holston, French broad, and few other places I’d like to keep under my hat. visit the site and read all about it.

Chasing flows

DSC_0537The short and sweet of it is there is plenty of great fishing to be had in East Tennessee. The only catch is timing. Due to a massive rain event earlier this spring and steady waves of weather ever since, TVA reservoirs are brim full and the tail waters are pushing hard, leaving only small windows of hot fishing to be had. A drier forecast seems to be on the horizon which will equate to more consistent,  fishable flows.

In this type of situation, the clinch will be the go to trout fishery in the Knoxville area but I wouldn’t forget about the Holston. Due to heavy generation the Holston will likely run out of cold water and be tooDSC_0534 warm to fish ethically some time in early July. The Clinch however will fish great all summer long, specifically for those who choose to float the river. Pheasant tails and midges still seem to be the name of the game but sulphurs are making an appearance on both rivers.

Smallmouth bass fishing has been absolutely DSC_0579amazing on local freestone rivers with a mix bag of streamer and topwater tactics yielding 40 fish plus a day. Most fish are fun 1/2 to 2 pound fish, but 5 pounders are routinely breaking hearts.

For those of you who have an affinity for stripers, I also have decent news. The conventional tackle game is 20170601_152826still very strong, and the fly fishing game is doable but improving. As flows slow down and the water warms up, fly fishing opportunities will increase since the fish will seek out food and cooler water below local dams. We have recently pulled several fish in the 10 to 15lbs class on gurglers and deceivers.

If you’re interested in getting after some big fish this spring, give me a call and we’ll talk about trip options.

Tight lines,

Capt. Jon


Maryville College PHR 347

MC4Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to take out two Outdoor Studies and Tourism students who are currently enrolled in a Professional Seminar course at Maryville College. The course is designed to expose students to a variety of topics, trends, and ethical conversations as well as career options with the field of outdoor recreation. During my “guest lecture” we talked about ethical fishing practices related to striper, trout, and muskie. In other words how to not kill fish in the process of making a living.

The new Outdoor Studies and Tourism major prepares students for careers that emphasizeDSC_0303 the importance of the natural environment, how humans can respectfully enjoy and interact with nature, and the value of active, outdoor experiences. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the major at Maryville College, you can check it out here:

I am really looking forward to working with Maryville College to preach the good word and fight the good fight of conservation!


Free fly tying demo!!!

Join me at Little River Outfitters Saturday February 18th while I crank out some streamers and chew the fat about all things fishing in East Tennessee.  Click here to view dates for upcoming tying demos as well as links to other events and schools the good folks over at LRO will be hosting.

The big fish challenge


img_20170124_062426_645Winter Blues have you down? Cabin fever perhaps, bored to tear whilst searching for crappie? Or do want a greater reward for enduring cold runs and dank weather? Chasing trophy striper might just be the poison to pick.
“Bait makes the world go round”, in the striper world at least, and my customers hear me say this a dozen times a day. Tiny threadfin, gizzard shad of various size, and skipjack are all top priority. If there is no food available there will be no striper available.  Generally if you find the bait whether it is visible on the surface or marking on your graph there will be host of predators close by.
Avoid being a one trick pony and switch it up. Big live baits are a lot of fun to fish but are not always on the menu, smaller baits under 6 inches can be much more realistic to digest when the water temps dip into the low 50s. Artificials also have a place in your winter arsenal, Alabama rigs and spooks are a great starting point when the fish key on small baits. For the fly angler a gurgler or clouser minnow should cover most situations but only if you want to make a difficult task more difficult.
AVOID THE CROWDS!  Truly big fish, specifically trophy striper, are sensitive to pressure. following other anglers around the lake will do nothing but hurt you and the guy you follow. There is no one magical location to catch the big ones, honestly they are more prevalent and spread out than many may think. That being said there are popular fishing locales with room for multiple anglers, keep a good distance between you and the other angler, be as quiet as possible, and mind your manners. 
I wish you the best of luck if you choose to tackle the big fish challenge but if you can’t make the big time 1sand gear commitment to chase the trophies we are more than willing to give you the opportunity to tangle with the fish of a lifetime. Feel free to contact Tennessee Valley Anglers anytime via phone or email. (865-363-8180) or
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