Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 01/22/2020

High flows continue across the area but trends are definitely down. A recent cold snap broke the ongoing heatwave so fishing in the mountains has slowed dramatically. Right on schedule, some of our tailwaters should begin returning to more normal flows for this time of year meaning float trips are certainly possible.

For the Smokies, a warming trend should commence as we go into next week. By mid week the fishing should be decent before the next cold front returns us back to winter again. On warmer days, look for midges and possibly winter stoneflies hatching. Some blue-winged olives will be possible on foul weather days as we head towards February. The best fishing is still a few weeks out, but no longer feels like an eternity. Expect good spring hatches to start in late February or early March with blue quills and quill gordons along with little black caddis and early brown and black stones. By April, things will be settling down with the pinnacle of spring fishing usually happening from mid April through the month of May.

On our area tailwaters, high water continues to be the story. The Caney Fork still has at least a couple of weeks of high flows and that is assuming we don't get any more heavy rainfall. This time of year, that is asking a lot. The high water is good for one thing, however. Shad. Yes, the cold months are prime time to try and hit the famed shad kill and catch a monster brown trout. Same thing goes for the Clinch.

Speaking of the Clinch, the good news is that flows are scheduled to begin dropping tomorrow. A steady two generators will feel like low water after the recent period of two generators plus sluicing. Two generators opens up some nymphing possibilities in addition to our favorite winter pastime, stripping streamers for monsters.

The musky streams are settling into fine shape and will be an option moving forward as well. Remember that bouts of high water will get them stained or even muddy for a few days, but as flows come down the fishing should pick back up.

Photo of the Month: Starting the Year Off Right

Photo of the Month: Starting the Year Off Right

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Smokies Rock!

I returned last afternoon from an epic weekend of fishing in the Smokies. I skipped my last class on Friday afternoon to make it up to Elkmont with plenty of time for some evening fishing. I set up camp and drove back down Little River and started fishing a hole that has always been kind to me. I caught caught a couple rainbows that were decent. I then cast to the other side of the main current, threw a quick mend to set up my drift and the rod almost got jerked out of my hands. I soon had a gorgeous 13 inch brown to hand that I quickly admired and then slipped back into the waters that he called home. "That was the high point of my weekend" I thought, which was too bad since I had only just arrived. I fished on upstream and finished with around 15 trout caught for an hour and a half of fishing. I started suspecting that since I did not have a camera, the whole weekend would be amazing as far numbers and maybe even size. Little did I know what the next day would bring!

Saturday I woke up and decided to try some new water. I drove over to Greenbriar and parked at the Ramsey Cascades Trailhead. I started fishing upstream from the bridge at the trailhead and fished between a mile and a mile and a half of water. It seemed I could do no wrong. I caught 40+ fish, mostly on a beadhead Tellico nymph but several also came on dry flies. I caught probably half rainbows and brookies with lots of nice sized fish mixed in. I had several rainbows in the 9-11 inch range and a couple of 8-9 inch brookies. I finally decided I was done battling the stream, which was probably the most difficult to traverse that I have ever personally fished. There were tons of huge boulders blocking upstream progress and several times I almost thought I would have to go back all the way downstream to the bridge to get out.

After returning to my car, I headed back over to Little River. Maybe, just maybe I would catch another nice brown. I started fishing a Tellico deep through I large hole when my line just stopped. I quickly set the hook on what I was hoping wasn't a snag. Sure enough, I felt a good-sized head shaking and soon had a 16 inch brown just long enough to slip out the fly. Shaking with excitement, I moved lower down in the pool and caught a small rainbow before moving back up to the head of the pool. I tried the same spot and had the same result, except this time when I set the hook, I didn't feel anything moving. "Oh no, here we go" I thought. I jerked again hoping to set the fly free when something started moving. "There is no way" I mused, but the fish seemed very real as it started surging toward an overhanging ledge underwater. I stressed the 4x tippet as much as I dared and eventually worked up another good brown, this one going 18 inches!!! I originally thought it was 17 inches as I measured it against my rod. I used to have marks on my rod so I could quickly measure a fish but they have worn off. After measuring my rod again, I realized that I caught my first 18 inch brown this weekend!!!

I think the solution to catching big fish must really be to go without a camera. It worked great for me this weekend, and I think it might be foolproof. I will have to test my theory by always taking a camera from now on and seeing if I ever catch good fish again. I will be back soon to fish the fall hatches. This is my favorite time of year and I will be on my home waters as much as my classes allow me to!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you had some good results. Hope all is well at SAU. God bless.

    Aaron

    ReplyDelete

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