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

Friday, March 02, 2007

Getting Reacquainted

New streams are always fun. You never know what you will find on new water. Old streams are nice also though...the ones that you could fish in your sleep. Some places I can tell approximately the size of fish that will be caught beside a certain rock. Today was a day for getting reacquainted with a favorite river. It has been altogether too long since I had fished the Caney Fork. I knew that with all the rain over the last 24 hours, most of the river would probably be discolored at best and most likely just plain old muddy. However, a short section up near the dam is unaffected by tributaries and after briefly trying farther downriver, I started fishing immediately below Center Hill Dam.

The water was very cool as I waded to where it was about waist deep just below the dam and began casting. Some fish had been sporadically rising so I knew they were there. Despite the windy conditions, I was soon slinging my line out in the vicinity of the occasional rises. My offering....the usual rig I start with on the Caney, a dry with a zebra midge dropper. I had been casting for probably 10 minutes when a fish discovered the zebra suspended under the dry and quickly inhaled it. I raised my rod and had an energetic rainbow dancing on the other end. As usual on the Caney, I immediately overestimated the size of the fish I had on. It was pulling like a freight train and I just knew I had hooked a solid 16 inch fish. After several nerve wracking runs that had me fretting about the 6X tippet, I finally brought a 13 inch rainbow to hand. I quickly slipped the hook out of its jaw and watched as the fish darted away. Another 20 minutes and I had another fish on, comparable to the first.

I was enjoying myself but curiosity overcame the fact that fish were there and biting and I decided to wander downstream a bit. After an hour of looking around and missing a couple of fish, I worked my way back upstream to just below the dam. A good midge hatch was underway and the trout were reacting by feeding a bit more. I was soon working a good run that I knew had some nice fish in it and quickly had a fish on. The 10 inch rainbow was released and I started working the head of the run.

My cast landed as soft as a feather and I intently watched for signs of a take. Suddenly, a couple of feet downstream from my flies I thought I saw the flash from the side of a nice fish. "Steady," I told myself, "wait for it." Just as my dry floated over the spot, it vanished as the fish took the zebra midge dropper. I gently raised the rod and knew immediately that I was into a fish a bit better than the 12-13 inch fish I had been catching. The first hard run was capped with a spectacular leap as the fish sought freedom. It was soon followed by a second and third leap and I was getting nervous. Would the tippet hold against so many strong runs? I kept turning the fish as it tried to run and slowly worked it towards shallow water. The vivid colors were incredible and all I wanted was to snap a couple of quick pictures of this beautiful fish. Finally, the stars aligned and I brought the fish to hand. It was colored up nicely, probably because it is the spawning season. After getting a couple of pictures, I eased the fish back into the water and was glad to see it rocket away back to its hole. I tried fishing for a few more minutes but knew that I should be getting home. This fish was enough and I decided to quit bothering the other fish for the day. I think I'm going to have to continue getting reacquainted again soon though!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Newsletter

Subscribe to the Trout Zone Anglers Newsletter!

* indicates required