Passions & Pursuits

Summer in the Mountains

Summer is officially in full swing in East Tennessee! With average temperatures in the high 80s, we have focused our efforts on the higher elevations of the Smoky Mountains. We had record rainfall during the late Winter and early Spring that led to flooding and high water on our tailwaters. Fortunately, this has set us up well for what is looking like a very warm Summer!

June is an excellent time to visit the Farm for both activities and cuisine. The gardens are starting to come into their own and the grounds couldn’t be more vibrant with color. This is also a great time for dry fly enthusiasts to find themselves in our area. We have seen great hatches of Sulphurs, Caddis and Yellow-Sally Stoneflies. It can be a lot of fun to pick apart a stretch of stream to focus on small pocket water. The rhododendron will be starting to bloom in the Smoky Mountains and will be a beautiful backdrop while fishing!

The local tailwaters are settling down enough to produce some amazing opportunities for large trout as well as smallmouth bass. The Clinch River has been producing gorgeous rainbows that have been eager to take nymphs and small streamers. Although the Clinch is still predominantly a nymphing and subsurface river, there have been several opportunities to hit rising fish on Sulphur patterns.

The Holston River is hitting its stride after months of being unfishable due high water levels. We have enjoyed several days of fishing that our guests will never forget! The trout on this river can grow in excess of 25 inches and peel drag off of your reel as if you were chasing bonefish in Belize! While we have experienced some fortune with dry flies, the emphasis is still with nymphing and working streamers through the deeper pockets.

We are also emerging into peak smallmouth season! Sometimes anglers are hesitant to chase bass over trout – that is, until they watch a giant smallmouth inhale a popper! This is an exciting opportunity to chase a river predator that is willing to take surface flies. Blackberry Farm is located in an area with diverse fisheries which makes it a perfect opportunity to book a multiday trip with us.

If fly fishing isn’t yet your passion, I would still suggest staying at Blackberry and experiencing the synchronous firefly event which is truly a mesmerizing experience. It is a short-lived phenomenon typically occurs in late-May to mid-June each year and is surely not to be missed. I have been fortunate to travel the world and the synchronous fireflies stand in the forefront of my experiences. Fly fishing will continue to be a great way to beat the heat of summer and explore all that makes this area special. If there is a time to visit the Tennessee Valley, this is it!

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