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, June 29, 2007

The River Report

Today I made my weekly stop by the Caney Fork for a couple of hours and did very well for a change. The river has been tough lately with the fish appearing to be a bit leader-shy. Today was much better, perhaps due in part to my first experience with Fluorocarbon tippet. I finally decided to shell out the extra $$$ and I'm sold. We'll see how it does when the fish get spooky again though.

The action was basically non-stop with seemingly every fish out feeding. My first fish was caught sight-casting. I had an indicator on but cast down and across to get the proper drift and watched as the fish moved over to eat as my indicator drifted over. The indicator never moved but I could see the fish had taken something and the hookset was sufficient to inform me that it had been my fly. After a lengthy battle, a chunky rainbow came to hand.


I was very impressed with the healthy and overall quality of this fish. As the day progressed, the other fish that had obviously been in the river awhile all seemed in equally good healthy. Based on what I'm seeing now, as long as no disasters occur, the Caney Fork should fish exceptionally well this coming fall and winter. I'm expecting lots of good browns to be caught this next October and November so plan your trip now.

After the first nice rainbow, I continued working up the river catching fish in just about every spot and seeing even more fish. I could have stood in one spot the whole time and caught fish but I like to keep moving around. After I had fished up as far as I wanted, I started to work back down as a storm was approaching. Lightning and graphite rods don't mix well and I wanted to get out in plenty of time. One spot needed special attention as good fish had been working on my way up but wouldn't commit to my fly. The first cast on the way down nailed the fish which turned out to be a beautiful brown. This fish I consider my consolation prize for the day.

As I fought this fish, my thoughts turned to the big fish I had missed. When I first got on the river I had hooked a large brown, somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 inches. It threw the fly before I could get it on the reel and left me staring at the spot where the great fish disappeared. It was particularly tough to lose because I have been trying for this fish for around a month now. I know where it likes to feed and today was the first time I was able to hook it. Thankfully there's always another time and I'm sure one of these days I'll land it as long as someone doesn't haul it out of the river.


Once I landed the consolation brown, I paused just long enough to get a couple of pictures before the release. The fish surged back to its home to be caught another day. The lightning was closer by this time and I got out of the river and made it to my car before the downpour started, satisfied by a nice bit of time on the water...

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