Trout Zone Anglers

What To Bring

An angler fishes a plunge pool on the Middle Prong of the Little Pigeon River

Guided Trip Info

Special COVID info: Throughout COVID, we have asked people to bring their own lunches and also to follow us in their own vehicles. We have begun to at least offer the choice of a lunch on full day trips, but are still asking people to follow us in their own vehicles. Thank you for understanding!

All guided fly fishing trips in the Smokies include flies and drinks. Full day trips include flies, lunch, and drinks. If you don’t have your own equipment, I will also provide a rod and reel at no extra cost for your use during the trip. I also have a limited selection of wading gear that is available for your use if necessary. When bringing your own wading gear, please note NO studs in boots for all float trips. If you hope to use my wading gear, let me know your sizing information at the time of booking to make sure I have something that will fit. This includes approximate height/weight and shoe size. Trip prices do not include fishing licenses or gratuities for the guides.

You should bring any gear of your own that you prefer to fish with, a camera, hat, good polarized sunglasses, and rain gear. This last piece is particularly important. If you can handle fishing in inclement weather, the fishing usually improves with rainy or snowy conditions. We will always put safety first so don’t plan on fishing through any lightning storms. In general, trips will NOT be cancelled just because it is raining unless it has affected streams to the point of being unfishable. I also recommend a small day pack to carry lunch/snacks and drinks and any other gear for hike in fishing trips. Clothing for all trips should feature subdued colors, especially earth tones or camouflage. Most fish species can become selective and will spook if they see the angler. To that end, plan on trying to blend in with your surroundings as much as possible.

If you have any special dietary restrictions or if you plan on using wading gear from me, please let me know at the time of booking. A 50% deposit is required upon booking to save your trip.  Upon booking, your spot will be held for up to 72 hours. If the deposit has not been paid by that time, your reservation will be cancelled. The remainder of the booking fee is due a minimum of 48 hours prior to the trip. You may choose to pay the full guide fee at the time of booking.

Gear Specific Info

For trips in the Smokies, the recommended gear depends at least some on the streams we are fishing and the techniques that we are using. Three and four weight rods in the 8-9 foot range are ideal for dry fly and dry/dropper applications on the smaller streams while four and five weight rods in the 9-10 foot range are ideal for larger streams and can handle the nymph fishing we often find ourselves doing on those streams. The best all around rod is a medium to fast action nine foot four weight rod. We are also fans of the newer “nymphing” style rods. We find ourselves reaching more and more for a 10′ 2 or 3 weight rod for fishing most situations in the Smokies. 

For trips on the tailwaters like the Caney Fork River or Clinch River, a 9-10 foot 4-6 weight rod will suffice. I recommend a nine foot five weight medium fast action rod although suit the rod action to your personal preferences and be prepared to fish anything from tiny dry flies to hopper copper dropper rigs. Most commonly, we fish either a dry fly with a dropper or a deep nymph rig with small indicators. If you book a streamer trip, then I recommend six or seven weight fast action rods and reels spooled with fast sinking (type VI recommended) full sink lines. If you prefer a sink tip, then bring the line with the longest sink tip possible (in the 30-40 foot range). It can be helpful to also have a 6 or 7 weight rod rigged with floating line for some different applications. We often probe all levels of the water column to find where fish are feeding, so having options on rod and line combinations will help us get into fish better.

For warm water trips, talk to me about specifics. On our smallmouth bass creeks we usually go with light rods and small flies whereas on the smallmouth and musky rivers, you don’t want to fish much under a seven weight rod most of the time.

Acknowledgement of Risk

Our insurance requires that our clients read and agree to an acknowledgement of risk to go on guided fly fishing trips with us. Please download the form below, print it off, sign it, and bring it with you on your guided fly fishing trip. We will need this signed document before we can begin our trip.