Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 01/08/2020

Unusually warm and wet conditions continue to prevail here in middle and east Tennessee. This upcoming weekend is looking like more rain and possibly even severe weather. The wind forecast is bad enough that I wouldn't bother going fishing until Sunday at the earliest unless you can go tomorrow.

In the Smokies, nymphing will be the name of the game, but don't be surprised to see some blue-winged olives from time to time. With all the high water, think streamers, big stoneflies, or worm imitations.

Tailwaters like the Caney Fork and Clinch are still rolling with a lot of water. Both rivers are over 10,000 cfs. While this is still fishable, I don't really recommend it. Flows this high are generally all about swinging for the fences if you feel like hunting a trophy. Many days it won't happen. Once in a while it will. Throw big streamers, hope for a shad kill, and get out there. Those big fish won't get caught if you're sitting home on the couch.

The Caney will produce decent fishing if we ever get flows back down at least a little. One generator would be ideal. Right now I'll even take two. Minimum flow looks a long ways off right now.

On the Clinch, you can throw streamers and also possible nymph up a few fish. If you pick your spots, there are places to nymph even on 12,000 cfs. Let's hope it gets back down to two generators or less soon. Every time we get a big rain event, look for some low water for a day or two or three. TVA will hold water back at tributary dams like Norris to reduce downstream high water effects. This gives those of us who like to wade a day or two to fish.

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: Starting the Year Off Right

Photo of the Month: Starting the Year Off Right

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Late Smokies Report

I have been swamped with homework and other things that needed doing so this is a few days late. Over the weekend I went up to camp at Elkmont CG and fish in the park. There were supposed to be a lot of other fisherman in for the weekend from everything I had heard, so I decided that it would be a good time to do a backcountry day trip.

I woke up and ate a leisurely breakfast of pancakes, fruit, and hot chocolate. Afterwards I filled my water pack and threw some items in to eat over the course of the day. I started up Little River Trail around 11:00 and by noon was just over 4 miles from the trailhead where a nice tributary enters Little River. I hiked a few hundred yards and finally couldn't stand it any longer and got in the water and began casting. Nothing hit my beadhead Tellico in the first few casts and then I saw fish rising just above me. Of course, who can resist casting to rising trout? After checking the water temp (50.5 degrees), I quickly tied on a Quill Gordon spundun and soon had my first small trout. Ten minutes and 5 fish later, my dry fly was struggling to stay afloat and I didn't feel like constantly changing flies so I tied a double nymph rig on. The fish still approved and I worked up the stream catching fish out of almost every "fishy" spot that I came to.

I eventually tied another dry on though. After fishing nymphs a lot all winter, it is just too much fun to watch the fish do cartwheels trying to hit my dry. The fishing was so ridiculous that I even caught fish when I lowered my rod, looked around for awhile, finally returned my focus to fishing and discovered fish had found the hook and were still on the line. This happened several times over the course of the day. Man I love spring!!!

One of my favorite parts of the whole day was when I found a nice plunge pool. I just knew that a fish had to be sitting at the bottom waiting for stuff to come drift by. After a couple experimental casts to figure out how my flies were drifting, I got the proper angle of presentation figured out and the fun began. A fat 8 inch rainbow took the Tellico and fought like a twelve incher. I figured, "what the heck..." and cast back in. This time a 9 inch rainbow took my fly. "No way another one is going to hit" I thought. Next cast, another 9 inch+ rainbow hit. That must have been the last of the nicer rainbows though because the next cast only yielded a 6 inch fish. 4 fish in about 5 minutes.....Absolutely crazy....

I finished up the day having fished close to a mile of stream and also got the Smokies slam with 1 brown and 1 brookie in addition to all the rainbows. This was definitely the best day of fishing I've had since last fall and I can't wait to do it again!!!

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