Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 01/01/2017

Happy New Years!!! Fishing is going to be tough for a few days. The cold snap has everything icing over except for the tailwaters. If you must fish, stay safe and be prepared for the possibility of getting wet. The streams of the Smokies are almost pointless to fish right now. That said, the forecast suggests there may be some opportunity to fish in the mountains and find a little success starting next Sunday. Temperatures above freezing are what we are looking for here. Not good odds, mind you, but certainly better than being in the deep freeze.

Tailwaters are a bit more reliable through the winter months. Streamer action should be anywhere from average to good depending on the day. On low water on rivers such as the Clinch, throw midges and you should find some fish. The Caney is still quite a ways away from seeing low water so it will be a streamer game almost exclusively.

Photo of the Month: Smoky Mountains Winter Brown Trout

Photo of the Month: Smoky Mountains Winter Brown Trout
©2017 Leah Shulley

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Done Fishin'...

Low water, warm water, both equally dangerous for trout and there is an abundance of both in the Smokies right now. My summer fishing has been great but I really haven't had enough trips to the mountains to suit me. However conscience dictates that I won't be heading that way anytime soon unless we get some rain, a lot of it.

With rainfall totals running 12-14 inches below normal and even more in some locations, the area streams are dangerously low and to fish under these conditions will adversely affect any fish caught. That is why I'm done fishing the mountains until fall at the earliest.

I won't be doing much of any fishing now for a few weeks as I work hard for another couple of weeks before the fun starts. Work should come first but after that I'm going to have a great time. The approach of my trip West has me tying flies like crazy. Between my preparation and work, fishing time will be in short supply. Yes, its a tough life and it will only get harder when I have to fish for a month throughout Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota...

6 comments:

  1. hmm a month in Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota....total bummer

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  2. Yes, what makes it even more difficult is that I just HAVE to fish the whole time...tough stuff...

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  3. ijsouth11:31 AM

    I wouldn't give up totally on the mountains. I certainly agree about not stressing the fish any more than they already are - my favorite brookie stream on the Tennessee side is a case in point - last time I saw it, it was really too low for comfort. However, from what I've seen, the North Carolina side has more water. We fished Straight Fork a few weeks ago, and it seemed to have a good flow of water, and the temperature was definitely cool (around 61). Some areas have been getting a little rain - it's very scattered, unfortunately. It's also unfortunate that we can't ship some of the rain we're getting here in South Louisiana up there - we're having our typical rainy summer.

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  4. ijsouth, it is good to know that the water is staying cooler on the other side of the park. There is some beautiful water over there. I've been watching the temperature for LR at the park boundary and it is getting dangerously warm. The low water doesn't worry me except that less flow means it doesn't take as much to warm it to dangerous levels...

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  5. ijsouth10:33 PM

    Yeah, I've seen the temps...and 4 weeks ago, well into the gravel at Tremont, it was 68 - so those streams that are on the lower sides of the park are definitely hurting. Meanwhile, the brookie stream I refered to earlier, while low, still had chilly water in the low 60s, so there's something to be said about the source of the water - the higher, the better, obviously. Just looking at a map, you can see how a number of the bigger streams on the NC side have origins at very high altitudes.

    We hiked a fair ways up Straight Fork, but we were no where near the source - it was, with the exception of a few choke points, still pretty wide. However, judging from the amount of blowdowns we had to scramble over, and the number of dry streambeds adjacent to the actual stream, you can tell that it can carry a LOT of water when it's rainy.

    In the meantime, I look at the radar from up there several times a day...for whatever reason, the Park seems to miss out on the better rains - mostly to the north, sometimes to the south. There's a good batch of rain that passed through here today - it pretty much rained all day down here. It's moving to the northeast, through Alabama, but it looks like it won't reach the mountains. My fear is that the rainfall will catch up all at once, and we'll be looking at the opposite problem - scouring floods.

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  6. the rains are coming, I can feel it in my bones.

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