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, June 14, 2007

Briefly Connected

Perhaps the best catalyst for a great fishing story is the one that got away. As often as I fish and perhaps due to my skill level, I have more stories of this nature than I care to remember. Some are truly memorable though. The brief connection to a large fish can be a magical moment, sometimes outshining any landed fish during a fishing trip. This year I've already had my share of memorable experiences.

One occurred while I was fishing the Smokies probably a month ago. It was near sunset and I was at a large hole trying for a big brown. I worked up to the pocket water at the very head of the pool when it happened. The definite flash of rainbow was not what I was expecting. The fish leaped at my Tellico almost before it hit the water and then was gone with a souvenir. Big rainbows are not that common in the Smokies with a 12 incher considered a nice fish. Fish of 14-16 inches are large and this was larger, probably 18 inches and extremely fat. I haven't gone back yet but I'm confident that it will still be there next time. Fish don't get that big unless they are smart.

The next moment of connection was last Sunday. I was on my way to Nashville for the week and stopped at the Caney Fork to fish for an hour or so. The water was picking up speed as the generation pulse approached. As always, I just had to try a few more casts. A nice cast placed my fly on the far side of the channel where I knew good fish liked to feed. The dry I was using as an indicator suddenly sucked under and I gently lifted the rod. There was an eruption from the place my fly had vanished as a big rainbow took to the sky. Three jumps and a couple of short runs later I was beginning to think I would land the fish. Of course the fish had other ideas and decided to head downriver. The determined run seemingly could not be checked and then the line went limp. Dejectedly I checked my flies. The zebra midge dropper was still there, the fish had simply thrown my fly.

I'll never forget that fish though. Leaping into the sky the fish was spectacular and actually, I like to remember it that way...

5 comments:

  1. Anonymous11:24 AM

    I promise I'm not trying to spam your site...

    Your article reminds me of a big cutthroat I hooked and lost after a lengthy fight on the Lamar River last year. All I ever saw of the fish was a brief, broad, buttery side rolling through the current in front of me on its way downstream. I can still see it, and I find myself sometimes dreaming about it. Thanks for the reminder,

    hawgdaddy

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'll believe you aren't trying to spam and just be glad someone is reading this...Seriously though...thanks for the comments... If you have any tips on good flies for the Lamar (or any other stream in NE YNP) I'm all ears...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous9:00 PM

    Davie,
    They really liked size 12 beetles and grasshoppers when we were there last July. I couldn't get them to touch smaller beetle patterns, and got nary a bite on mayfly or caddis patterns. I'm jealous of your trip plans, but still hope you have a great time! Take care,

    hawgdaddy

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous2:38 PM

    David,

    I'm taking three boys fishing at Caney Fork Christmas week. None of us flyfish. Do you believe trout hit best when the water is rising, steady or falling? Also, do you have any recommendations concerning a good place with river access for bank fishing? Thanks. Hope you're finals are going well.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I personally like fishing steady water the best but a lot of people like to fish falling water as well. The best place for bank fishing is probably up in the first mile or so below the dam. Otherwise, it helps to be able to wade. Betty's Island and to some extent Happy can be fished without getting wet as well... Mornings will probably be best... Good luck to you!

    ReplyDelete

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