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

Sunday, December 17, 2006

New Water


The beautiful weather we've been having called for some fishing so it was off to a river that I've never fished before. The Clinch is one of the most popular East Tennessee tailwaters and rightly so. Every year, very large fish are caught on this river. Today however, I was just glad to be on the water with the fish biting. I used a dry/dropper setup all day with a parachute Adams dry and various midge droppers. I struggled to find fish of any size for a lot of the day but finally found some nicer fish that were around 12 inches. Not the monsters that I've heard about but they were fat and put on some great aerial displays. It was a good first day on a new river with around 20 fish to hand. As a side note, the late afternoon midge hatches were absolutely huge. The air was swarming with all kinds of small bugs and the fish were greedily feeding on the surface. With the weather supposed to be nice again tomorrow, I'll probably be fishing again somewhere so stay tuned for more.

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