Let's face it. The summer flows so far this year have been anything but optimal. Downpours and spring showers have most of our local tailwaters and reservoirs at max capacity and making wade fishing on some of our more notable streams and rivers a dicey prospect at best, but talk to anyone with a driftboat and you're likely to hear a different story.
Our friend and local guide, Howard Brooks has spent his whole life fishing the waters of East Tennessee and guiding for several years on some of its more prominent streams like the Elk RIver, The Clinch River, and just about anywhere he can launch his Hyde driftboat. Recently, I had the pleasure of going on a float trip with Howard down the Elk, and lets just say that it did not disappoint! A bit of stain in the water resulted in fish not finding a lot of our nymph and dry fly offerings, but a quick change to one of Howard's conehead olive woolly buggers led to an eight hour float full of slashy strikes and takes from an array of small to medium brown trout and a few nice rainbows. We estimated that if every trout that slashed at the stripped bugger had been hooked, our numbers for the day would have been in the two hundreds. Not to mention a couple of close calls with a few 20+ inch fish that swiped at larger, articulated streamers.
Having recently been stocked, and with new regulations aimed at making the Elk River one of East Tennessee's newest big brown trout fisheries, it is obviously paying dividends, and we highly recommend booking a trip while flows are good and the fishing is on fire. You can book a trip with Howard Brooks at the shop or by contacting him directly at (423)421-6432.