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

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Crowds Are Out

The time of year has arrived that I always dread. Last weekends excursion was probably one of the last times fishing the Hiwassee without the crowds for awhile now. Yesterday I made the routine trip to the river to fish the Big Bend with a new fishing buddy. We met up before sunrise and the river was socked in with fog. The fog slowly began lifting as the sun peaked over the ridge and lit up the banks with the brilliant colors of spring.

The fishing was okay but not great. Over the course of the day, I caught somewhere between 12 and 15 fish with several 'bows in the 11-13 inch range and the rest smaller browns anywhere from 5-9 inches. The fish were picky for the most part. I had the best luck when the generation pulse came through and I swung softhackles for risers in a large hole. The fish were definately looking for emergers and kept hammering the softhackle. The only thing preventing me from catching more fish was the fact that most were rising safely out of reach. No fish pictures to show, I find myself leaving the camera alone more and more except for the most notable catches, and none were worthy of this distinction. The scenery was excellent however, especially early in the morning and I found myself getting distracted from the fishing trying to capture the everchanging mood of the river....

Anyone interested in fishing this river, pick your time carefully. The river was packed by the middle of the day. I really wouldn't recommend fishing it for awhile unless you are hiking in or it is a weekday. Also, if the weather gets nasty it will provide good fishing again without the crowds. Until this happens, look for me to start spending more time in the Smokies which is where I'll be doing most of my fishing for the next 3 months.

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