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

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. hawgdaddy11:24 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. hawgdaddy9:00 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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