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

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Big News!!!

Well, it looks like it is final. The National Park Service is planning to eradicate the rainbow trout population in Lynn Camp Prong in the Great Smoky Mountains and will return the stream to native brook trout water. Anglers are having mixed reactions to the news. The largest concern seems to be that most people hate to see the stream closed for the length of time it is going to take for a brook trout population to stabilize. An excellent debate has been taking place on the subject on the Little River Outfitters message board which can be found here.


Around the country, it seems that the return of native fish species is becoming a major focus for fisheries biologists. Last year, anglers were saddened to learn that Bright Angel Creek in the Grand Canyon was being targeted for the removal of non-native brown trout. Being a trout-loving fly fisher, I have recieved news such as this with mixed feelings. I feel it is unfortunate to be losing some great fisheries around the country but at the same time, I support the return of native trout species. Obviously it would be a bit inconsistent to support the return of native trout but not other native fish species. Fortunately in the case of Lynn Camp, the fish species that will be returning is none other than the southern strain brook trout. Despite some of the concerns I have with this project, I believe that the return of the native brook trout will ultimately be worth any short-term inconveniences. I look forward to another great place to catch this special fish!!!

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