Needless to say, March is one of the best months to catch a trophy brown or rainbow trout. Just in the last dozen trips in Tennessee, customers caught 10 fish over 20″, some of which were in the mid to high 20s range. The “fish of the month” award would go to David Boehm’s son Ben with a whopping 27″ male brown trout (in headline picture) caught on March 17th. The runner-up was Don Baggett with a 25″ brown trout, pictured above. Guide, Carter Ailsworth had a similar catch rate of brown trout between 18 and 22 on the Smith River in Virginia in just a handful of trips.

Tennessee trout have made the larger springtime nymphs and caddis a big part of their diet as they anticipate this year’s “Mother’s Day Caddis” hatch, feeding on the nymphs of these insects which become active this time of year. In higher flows, streamer fishing for large trout can be another exciting way to catch quality fish in early spring. Our favorite nymphs to throw when caddis are hatching are red and green soft hackles, peacock soft hackles, and large prince nymphs in a range of sizes from 14-10 (pictured below). Most of the fish featured in this March stream report were taken on a large caddis fly nymphs. These wild fish are opportunistic this time of year and we thoroughly enjoy throwing big flies on 4x tippet before they become technical in May, requiring smaller flies and tippet.

As for the Smith, exactly when, where, and how Carter is so consistent at putting customers on big trout, is something we can only tell our customers. Give us a call if you are interested in hunting trophy trout on the Smith River.

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