Foscoe Fishing Company

Foscoe Fishing Company Blog - Fishing Tales

Disclaimer: All fishing tales related herein may be whoppers. Telling the classic “tall tale” when it comes to fishing is an art and we are proud of being good story tellers. We reserve the right to add an inch or two to measurements of caught fish using advanced, hard to catch photo software enhancements. All customers who attend classes or guided trips will be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement stating they will not make truthful statements about the 12″ fish we caught when it was really only 6″. Thank you for your cooperation, and come back to see us again soon!

TN Tailwater Update

Fishing has been excellent in TN recently.  Significant hatches throughout the day of crane-flies and mayflies have made sight fishing with the dry-fly exciting.  Nymphing fast water has also been fun producing good size fish.  This is always my favorite time of the year to fish, its like the calm before a storm, as soon as October comes so will the other fisherman!  Have fun out there and come by and see us at the fly-shop or on the river.


Crazy Weather

Spring has been far from normal this year.  One day its 70, the next it’s 40.  Rain, rain, rain, a pretty common word these days.  While rain does put a damper on the conditions, it can be a big help down the road when summer heat lowers water levels and even a light rainy day can make for some great fishing.   For now i’m gonna welcome the rain because the dry summer weather isn’t far away!

Is fishing an illness?

I am usually on the water over 200 days a year for either work or play. I can guide 20 or 30 days in a row and then go on vacation to do what else? Fish of course. I am really beginning to think this is some kind of illness.

Hello everyone!

Hello everyone I’m Clay, the new face at Foscoe Fishing Company. I am excited about working at the shop, along with guiding in order to share my love of fishing with others. As an avid fisherman when I am not working I am on the water so if you all have any questions about the local streams or what bugs to use, feel free to stop in and talk with me.

Wednesday 25 2010

Fished some small streams last Wednesday and had great conditions on a half day trip.  Water levels have been good due to recent rainfall and cool nights have also helped cool the water.  We started fishing a good looking run in the morning catching some small but beautiful wild trout and then spotted a nice fish holding on the bottom of the run.

We fished to this fish for a while with no luck and changed flies three or four times.  Finally, I decided to go small and put on a size 22 midge and boom, fish on!  This fish was a nice rainbow around 18″.  We continued to catch wild fish the rest half of the day.  Its a great time to take advantage of some good fishing so call us to book a trip today!

Muddy Waters

I have had a lot of people coming into the shop the last few days worried the rivers are too muddy to fish.  One thing to remember is that trout are mostly visual feeders,  even if the water is muddy they will still feed as long as they can see.  The way I judge water color is by how deep you can see the river bottom.  If you can see about a foot down chances are you will have good fishing.  Fish similar water to what you normally do but size your flies a little bigger.   It might even be a good idea to try some streamers.  So don’t be afraid of a little mud, get out there and see what you can find you might be surprised.

Good luck!


Low water fishing tips

When summer is here and the rain isn’t don’t worry, fishing can sometimes be more productive.  Yes, you need to move to the headwaters where the water stays cool.  We all know trout need cold clean water so when we have lower than normal water levels trout can be found more concentrated in the deeper pools where the sun cannot penetrate or in deeper runs and riffles where the water has higher oxygen levels. 

Look for feeder creeks coming into the main river these are typically spring fed and offer a cool refuge for trout.  Smaller nymphs are geneally the rule of thumb; we recomment a size 18 (sometimes a size 20) hares ear in natural.   Terrestrials and yellow or dun mayfly patterns work well on top also.   Always be conscious of the water temperatures, if the water is too warm the fish can’t always recover from the stress of the catch and release so bring a thermometer.  

Always remember to quickly release the fish and try whenever possible to remove the fly without taking the fish out of the water.  The less stress you put on the fish the better chance they have of being caught another day!  Our high elevation offers some excellent headwater stream fishing throughout the year.

Handling Fish properly

Our practices of catch and release are very important in sustaining local trout populations and proper handling of fish (trout in particular) is the best way to ensure that they survive.  Warmer summer months create warm water conditions.  When paired with a long, tiring fight, these fish have a tough time recovering.  Always use the heaviest tippet you can get by with.  This will help shorten the fight.  Also, forceps for removing hooks and nets, preferebly rubber mesh, will help keep stress to a minimum.  Lastly, if handling the fish is necessary, always start with wet hands.  This will reduce the amount of slime taken off the fish and will help protect against disease.  With these practices, we can help keep out fisheries productive for years to come!


When I think of hot weather trout fishing one thing sticks out in my mind more than anything else…Terrestrials.  Terrestrial insects describe any type of insects that are born on land and happen to fall in the water.  Grasshoppers are most commonly recognized from this category since they are popular out west but on eastern rivers, particularly the small streams we have around here beetles, ants, and crickets are more abundant.  Any tree lined stream has the potential to provide action for an angler fishing a beetle, while crickets and ants are worth trying anywhere trout are found. 

Another common, but easily over looked bug,  is the inch worm.  These little green worms are slow moving, and make a great food source for the fish whenever they hit the water.  A floating version is usually fished, but sinking an inch worm is a great tactic as well.

Next, I fish several different types of ants depending on the conditions.  Parachute ant patterns or small foam imitations are great on the top while epoxy body or fur ants work well fished below a dry fly in the surface film.   In my box I carry ants varying in size from size 12 flying ants to small size 18 fur body ants for fishing as droppers. 

Last of all are my crickets and beetles.  These usually range in size from 10 to 16 and are most commonly fished on the surface.  I’ll use heavier tippet for these starting with 4x and dropping down to 5x if the fish are looking at, but not eating my flies.  If I find a pattern the fish like, but I have trouble seeing I sometimes use a brightly colored paint pen to color the back of the fly.

With all of these patterns dead drifting is usually best for enticing strikes but the occasional twitch can be a deal maker for apathetic trout.  Also, throw out conventional wisdom when it comes to choosing a spot to cast.  Slow “frog water” can be a great place to throw a beetle or inch worm if the overhanging trees provide shade and have bugs crawling around. 

Every summer terrestrial insects fished dry account for some of my biggest trout of the year both on small freestone streams and the bigger tailwaters like the S. Holston and Watauga.   Keep your eyes open for big surface feeding fish in the shadows and expand your terrestrial selection to give yourself a shot at fish most people completely ignore!

Knot Tying

Knots are one of the most important aspects of fly fishing.  There are books amoung books written about the many different knots but only a few are needed on a regular basis.  The clinch knot is one of the best knots for tying the fly to the leader.  It involves passing the tippett end through the eye of the hook then around the standing part of the leader six of seven times then back through the loop created at the eye.  I find that it is useful for any fishing situation and one that every angler should know!

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