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

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Winter Finally Arrives

Seasonally normal temperatures have finally made at least a brief visit to the great state of Tennessee. With a dark sky that produced precipitation alternating between a fine drizzle and snow flakes, I gave thought to the large fish that sometimes come out to feed under such conditions. Of course, this called for a trip to the Caney Fork for the afternoon so after a large breakfast, I was soon rolling west down I-40. Upon arriving riverside, I saw that feeding fish were periodically working a short stretch upstream aways. I rigged up with hands that were numb before I even started tying on a fly and wondered about my intelligence. The fish were still feeding though so I was soon knee deep in the Caney. After missing several fish I finally had a small rainbow on. However, I struggled to get any more action and finally decided a change of scenery was in order. After a short run farther upstream, I started fishing a much more familiar section and soon had another fish on. This turned out to be another standard stocker rainbow (at right). I continued up to where a I had missed a very large rainbow just days before. Working thoroughly, I finally found the fish or its nearest cousin only to actually lose my fly to it this time. Of course, this is completely unacceptable and I want you all to be assured that I will be back soon to find this fish and settle our differences once and for all. I'll also make sure and document said fish with a photograph. After breaking off, I seriously considered calling it a day but decided to fish a bit further downstream. I caught one or two more fish and finally called it a day. Right before I left, a guy from TWRA stopped to check my license. This definitely made my day! It was the first time I've ever been checked on this river so I'm glad to see some enforcement taking place. Anyway, I have a trip to the South Holston in the works so I may be gone for a few days. Check back soon though for pictures and stories from a stream that is new to me!

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