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, February 04, 2007

Fishing in the Cold or Wind?

It seems that El Nino is causing problems not only here in the states but also overseas. As meteorologists are trying to determine a connection between tornadoes in Florida during El Nino, the winds are blowing fiercely in the fly fishing Mecca known as New Zealand. According to this interesting story from the New Zealand Herald, the country is

"cursed by El Nino and its accompanying winds, which until this week had delayed the good summer fishing by two months in the popular Rotorua and Taupo fisheries."

I am trying to find it in my heart to feel sorry for those that are basking in the warmth of summer. However, the continual blasts of arctic air make this extremely difficult for me. This of course brings us to the question of whether it is better to fish in the cold or in the wind? How bad is the wind you ask? Well, if someone will send me a plane ticket to New Zealand I will be glad to find out.

I have to say, I have fished in some nasty wind before but have never been stopped from fishing. This doesn't mean that the fish were biting but I was going through the motions. I recall a time when was fishing a lake in the White Mountains of Arizona where the technique of the day was basically to execute a roll cast good enough to get the line off of the water. The wind would do the rest. If you could manage to actually make a full cast, the line MIGHT end up 10 feet behind you on the backcast and this translated to a good 60 foot cast, all assuming of course that you didn't invent a new windknot. Oh yeah, I caught a nice fat 17 inch Cutthroat that day.

Of course, I've enjoyed some excellent days fishing in the cold as well. Last year I got to fish in the snow for the first time. Being from Tennessee, this was actually a novelty. I guess I can feel a bit of sympathy for the folks in New Zealand. Two months is a LONG time to go without wetting a line. At least I can fish when its cold...and it must be REALLY windy to prevent fishing... Seriously, anyone want to send me a plane ticket to New Zealand? Patagonia? Somewhere warm???

3 comments:

  1. hawgdaddy8:02 AM

    Last year in Yellowstone we were fishing the Blacktail Deer Pond. The wind was blowing so hard that the roll cast was the only option, just like you mention. My 4-weight wouldn't even get a back cast behind me at all, not that I'm the best caster. I wish I had taken my 6-weight that day.

    If I'm ever filthy rich, I'll buy you that ticket to New Zealand...but I'm going along too. Don't hold your breath though. Take care,

    hawgdaddy

    ReplyDelete
  2. Here's hoping that you get rich soon...this cold weather is killing me! By the way, how was Blacktail Deer Pond?

    ReplyDelete
  3. hawgdaddy10:32 AM

    Well, it didn't pan out for us. We stopped by as an afterthought on our way to the Lamar after some sight-seeing. The sun was straight overhead with not a cloud in the sky, it was windy and hot. We saw one large fish rising sporadically far out beyond our casting range (I might have been able to make the cast with a heavier rod, but most others in the group were complete beginners). I think earlier in the season would be much better. This was late July. It's a very pretty little pond. Here's hoping I get rich soon, too!

    hawgdaddy

    ReplyDelete

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