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It was only three days ago, when I took Andy, Ted, and Cory from Indiana on a day when the fishing conditions were ideal, and the smallies were on fire. It was only a few hours after the conclusion of that trip, when that advancing cold front that had energized the feeding of those smallies on Sunday, moved into to East Tennessee and dumped a generous amount of rain in the Little Pigeon River watershed. It doesn’t take a lot of rain to cause the Little Pigeon to rise very quickly and become muddy. Conversely, it drops very quickly, and can be fishable in a few days depending on how much rain has fallen. I was scheduled to take Greg today, under less than optimal conditions. The Little Pigeon was running about a foot higher than I like to fish it, and it was heavily stained. My hope was that as he fished throughout the afternoon, that the water clarity would continue to improve, as well as the fishing. There are certain places on the river that fish better when the water is a little high and stained. Those were the locations I had planned on fishing ┬átoday. I also made him the promise, that if the fishing was bad, I was not going to charge him, because it was a marginal day at best to be out fishing for river smallies. As predicted, the fishing was slow during the first few hours. I ran my jet boat further upstream, than I normally would have with the hope that the water might be a little clearer than it was further downstream. That indeed was the case. As the afternoon wore on, you could definitely see the visibility improve. About an hour before dark, I had Greg fish a spot that I normally can’t get to with my jet boat. I have had great success wade fishing that section of the river over the years, and the fish were there. Fortunately, they turned on the last hour of the day. Greg caught eight smallies in that spot, that were a variety of sizes. The big fish of the day was twenty and three quarter inches long. In fact, it is the longest smallmouth my clients have brought to the boat this season. At first glance, it looked like it might weigh between four and half and five pounds, due to its length, and the distance from its back to its belly. When I weighed the fish, it came in at only three pounds and eight ounces. I thought there was something wrong with my scales, but under further examination, when I looked at the fish down the back, and from side to side, it was very thin. The picture of that fish is included with this report. Greg has had better days on the water with me, but he managed to land twelve smallies, including the longest fish of the season. We have other days scheduled on the water this spring. I look forward to those trips, because some of the best river smallie fishing I have experienced over the years has occurred from mid-April to mid-May. He is scheduled for me to guide him during that productive window of time. He really enjoys fishing for river smallies. I am sure I will receive text a few days before our next trip that usually says “I am jonesing for some fishing”.

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