French Broad River Smallmouth Bass

The powerful French Broad River, stitching across the border of the Volunteer state,  flows east to west starting in western North Carolina and making its way through the Smoky Mountains into east Tennessee.  While several productive lakes are formed by the impoundment of the French Broad in North Carolina, Douglas Lake is the only reservoir on the French Broad in Tennessee, and it begins at the confluence of the French Broad and the smaller but highly productive Nolichuckey river.

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The tailwater strech below Douglas Reservoir Dam runs a little over 30 miles from Sevierville and Gatlinburg to metropolitan Knoxville.  The stretch, along with its close proximity to several population centers, including the mid-south tourism mecca of Gatlinburg, has several well-maintained access points, giving angler a variety of options for float trips.

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Your guide Russell Woods grew up in this very region and over the years has become well acquainted with this section of the French Broad, and its inhabitants. He knows all the local hang-outs and dives for big stream smallmouth, a specialty for this river. Although plentiful, skinny-water bronzebacks can be fickle mistresses. Fortunately for you, Russell knows all the best pick-ups to get a beauty stretching your line in no time.

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Not only is the angling great on the French Broad, but your host also has the privilege of guiding you down an entertaining river all its own, despite the great fishing The French Broad is much wider and shallower than its spiritual sister smallmouth streams, the Holston, not only creating more visible habitat to cast to, but  even boasting some fun rapids to paddle down in your quest for the bronze trophies.  While the average fish will range anywhere from 2-4 pounds, a respectable fish no doubt, this section of the river has historically produced trophies to nearly 8 pounds. Of course, your next cast with Russell as your guide could rewrite that history…

Basic 4 hour Half-Day Excursion: $225 for up to two anglers

Standard 8 hour Full-Day Adventure: $325 for up to two anglers

*a $75 deposit is required upon booking that is refundable until 14 days before the trip, but can be reapplied to another booking date with Russell.

Russell provides all the tackle, lures, knowledge and safety measures to provide a comfortable and enjoyable trip down the French Broad in pursuit of smallmouth bass. All the client needs to bring is a Tennessee fishing license, any personal refreshments [guide provides basic drink and snack], and may bring along their own tackle if they so desire, though this is by no means required.

If you’re wanting to book a half or full day Stone’s Throw Adventure with Russell, contact us as 931-261-2483 or by email at to secure your date with a bevvy of bronze beauties along the scenic shores of the French Broad River.

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