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

Friday, March 09, 2007

Rust and Spring Hatches

The long hoped for spring hatches have arrived in the Smokies!!! They will only get better over the next few days. I fished Abrams Creek today and spent a bit of time on Little River as well. The caddis hatches on Abrams were spectacular. It was definitely the closest I'll ever be in the Smokies to a blizzard hatch of caddis. There were thousands of the bugs filling the air along with Blue Quills, BWOs, and a few Quill Gordons. The fish are still a bit slow to respond to the feeding opportunities however. I think they need another few days possibly before they start keying on the dries consistently. There were plenty of risers to keep me occupied but I had to search them out instead of just picking any spot I wanted. I picked up a few fish on nymphs and a few on dries today.


Luckily for the fish though, I didn't catch nearly as many as I should have considering the excellent conditions. As happens every year, it appears I have some rust I need to get off. The stocked fish of the tailwaters I fish through the winter have made me lazy yet again and I have slowed down a lot. That's fine as long as I stay on the tailwaters, but when I start trying for wild fish in the mountain freestone streams, I must be on top of my game to succeed.

By the end of the day I was getting disgusted with myself for my lack of ability in the catching department. Despite catching several fish in the middle of the day, I couldn't buy a fish later in the day. I even found all the BWO's that Tom Chandler of the Trout Underground has been looking for all winter on his home waters, the Upper Sacramento in California. They apparently all came clear across the country just to grace us with their presence and the fish were rising enthusiastically to the little rusty spinners. I tried to catch the risers but failed miserably. Things looked much better when I tied my nymphs back on and I started sticking fish left and right but still could not bring one to hand. It was probably just as well as I was getting quite frustrated. I know it was in the fishes best interest.

Really, I can't complain at all. It was a beautiful day with temperatures in the 60's and the water is warming enough to get the spring hatches rolling. However, I DO still have a bit of rust to get off so I'll be heading back to the park as soon as possible which will probably be next weekend but I may sneak off one day this next week.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:01 AM

    Great blog. Awsome pics I love fly fishing I just got back form a trip in north GA last week. Look foward to seeing more pics!

    Every Blessing
    Alan

    ReplyDelete

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