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Tennessee Tailwater Fishing

So it finally happened, a real cold snap hit our region, and putting in the boat yesterday morning was a chore with 20-degree temps!

I floated the Watauga Tailwater starting at 7:30 and took out around 4. A pretty typical timeline for me with a full-service Shop and full-time parent!

One thing I noticed during the bite was the cold temps had resulted in what guides refer to as a “short strike”

We fish Long leaders under indicators for the nymph bite that occurs daily, and these indicators “indicate” when the fish is biting. (They also indicate when your drift is failing but that’s for another blog) Sometimes that bite is aggressive and very obvious, other times as it is quite frequently on our tailwaters, the bite can be elusive.

The indicator will barely slow down, hesitate, bobble, hover, etc. The Guide is insisting that it is a bite – but a lot of times the Anglers are not so convinced!

In times like these, it is best to default to the guide and just set the damn thing!

What we noticed in the cold was a very tiny window to capitalize on the hook set. EVERY bite was minuscule and remote and we had to set it super fast and super hard! Make sure to reach up there and get another Strip on that to retrieve with that long of a leader!!

When Fishing the tailwaters of East Tennessee – the Watauga and South Holston in particular- it is imperative to give every hookset your best shot. Those Long leaders are tougher to get the hook jammed in and it takes confidence to rip that hook set efficiently. Our guides are highly trained in the clandestine ways of the trout, if you want to hone your skills give us a call!

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