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, 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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