Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 09/04/2019

Fishing has slowed down in some places and heated up in others. Smallmouth bass fishing on the streams of the Cumberland Plateau has been good to excellent while the tailwaters have slowed down somewhat.

In the Smokies, streams are getting low and warm. Stick with mid and high elevation streams for now until we get some rain and cooler weather. Right now it looks like this will probably last for another week although we do have some rain forecast next week. Let's hope that happens! A variety of bugs are working here, but lean heavily on your terrestrial box. Yellow Stimulators in particular have also been good lately.

The Caney Fork continues to produce a few fish here and there. Stripers are still thick in the river which isn't helping the trout at all. As long as things stay dry, this will be a viable option. There are a few large fish present if you know where to look. Yesterday's big fish was a 21.5" rainbow caught while sight fishing. Don't expect that every day, but if you're prepared to put in your time, there are good fish to be caught (and released!!!).

The Clinch seems to be in the middle of the annual late summer drawdown of Norris Lake. High water will be the norm here for the next few weeks. If you don't have a boat, then don't bother except, possibly, during early mornings. Weekends are offering some morning windows but crowds will generally be thick as well.

Fall fishing is not far off. The Clinch should fish well unless we have a wet fall. Sometime between mid October and early November, we should see flows start to come down. The Smokies are my personal favorite for fall fishing. The fish will be hungry and maybe even looking up!

Photo of the Month: Guide Trip Fish of the Year for the Smokies

Photo of the Month: Guide Trip Fish of the Year for the Smokies

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Footballs

Today I decided to not go to the Smokies. I've had a bad cold and wasn't feeling that well but by afternoon, I was feeling good enough to make the short drive down to the Caney Fork. I arrived and immediately noticed that a lot of gulls were flying around below the dam and on downriver. The first thing I thought of was a shad kill.

I started fishing below the dam and soon caught a brown. After working the run thoroughly, I finally decided to go up to just below the dam where I saw numerous fish rising. I waded out and started casting. This area is somewhat like a shallow lake with almost no current. Fishing here is a waiting game. You try and cast in the vicinity of where the fish are working but then you just let the dry and dropper sit until a fish discovers it. Usually a take is fairly obvious with the dry sucking under. After a few minutes of casting, I finally had a hit and immediately had a strong fish on. After a nice battle on the three weight, I brought to hand a VERY chunky football shaped fish.


The rest of the time continued in much the same way. I caught several fish including a few more footballs. The last one I caught was spitting up half-digested shad in large quantities, losing a lot of girth in the process. There were plenty of dead shad in the shallows as well. The fish that are eating the shad are extremely fat and should put on a lot of weight quickly which is good news for those of us that fish this river. I have seen some pictures of very large browns caught in the last few days so this is an excellent time to be on the river.


If I am feeling well in the morning, it is off for the Smokies so hopefully I'll have another report tomorrow afternoon or evening!!!

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