Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 12/3/2019

Winter fishing is nearly upon us. Snow yesterday has given way to falling water temperatures in the Smokies. In general, fish will be hunkered down, although by tomorrow they should start to get more active again as temperatures warm. For the next three months, expect many more fish in the slower places in the Park. Think nymphs and maybe streamers but don't be surprised to find fish rising to blue-winged olives or midges on some days.

On tailwaters like the Clinch, brown trout and some fall spawn rainbows are doing their thing. This is a good time to review good ethics when it comes to spawning trout. Remember that these are the next generation of trout and the best thing you can do is to leave them alone. Avoid wading through spawning areas and don't fish for obvious spawners. For the foreseeable future, we should have high water thanks to big rains this last weekend. Fishing out of the drift boat will be very good through the winter with both nymphing and streamer fishing a distinct possibility. Want to swing for the fences and go for just one monster? Streamers will just get better and better going into January and February.

The Caney is slowly coming around. A few shad are coming through the dam, but lingering water quality problems are limiting the fishing. Winter streamer floats will produce shots at larger brown trout for anglers willing to work hard. Next spring should bring good fishing again.

Winter is our favorite time to get on the musky streams. In between bouts of high water, those will be fishing well for the next few months.

Photo of the Month: Big Fish Chuck Strikes Again

Photo of the Month: Big Fish Chuck Strikes Again

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Another Day Fishing

The Caney Fork had a nice generation schedule on Monday so I went down for the afternoon. Fishing two days in a row is great but your casting arm can get kinda tired, what a rough life... Anyway, I got down to the river and drove around a little while looking over some different spots on the upper river. I finally figured out where I wanted to fish and got down to the water. I was hoping the fish would be feeding heavily but there was only sporadic activity on the surface. Probably the bright sun wasn't helping in that department. Anyway, I tied on my usual dry with a midge dropper and started exploring. The fish were not as easy to find as they are sometimes but I finally got into a few. As the afternoon wore on, the fish became a little more active and I started moving up river towards the area with the best activity. I spotted a very large fish rising upstream and slowly worked into position. By the time I was in the right spot, the fish was not longer rising so I had to guess where I thought he might be. The second cast was apparently right on the money as my dry sucked under and the battle was on. Unfortunately, the fish had somewhere else to be apparently and took off downriver like a freight train. Scared that my 6x would pop at any moment, I felt the sudden surge of the fish towards the surface. Mouth gaping, I stared in awe as my tiny midge popped out of the jaw of a very heavy rainbow and then stood grumbling to myself. Finally I realized that nothing would bring that fish back and I started moving upriver again. Because of the aforementioned sore arm, I worked a bit on casting with my left hand, probably something I should spend a considerable amount of time practicing. A few more average 12 inch footballs were gracious enough to put in an appearance but nothing could top the fish I had momentarily connected with. Late in the day I went up to just below the dam and caught a couple more before heading home. It was an amazing day to be on the water in December with the temperature in the mid to upper 60's so really I can't complain too much although I really wish I could have landed that fish. At least I know where it lives and I'll be back soon and with a net next time.

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