Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 09/04/2019

Fishing has slowed down in some places and heated up in others. Smallmouth bass fishing on the streams of the Cumberland Plateau has been good to excellent while the tailwaters have slowed down somewhat.

In the Smokies, streams are getting low and warm. Stick with mid and high elevation streams for now until we get some rain and cooler weather. Right now it looks like this will probably last for another week although we do have some rain forecast next week. Let's hope that happens! A variety of bugs are working here, but lean heavily on your terrestrial box. Yellow Stimulators in particular have also been good lately.

The Caney Fork continues to produce a few fish here and there. Stripers are still thick in the river which isn't helping the trout at all. As long as things stay dry, this will be a viable option. There are a few large fish present if you know where to look. Yesterday's big fish was a 21.5" rainbow caught while sight fishing. Don't expect that every day, but if you're prepared to put in your time, there are good fish to be caught (and released!!!).

The Clinch seems to be in the middle of the annual late summer drawdown of Norris Lake. High water will be the norm here for the next few weeks. If you don't have a boat, then don't bother except, possibly, during early mornings. Weekends are offering some morning windows but crowds will generally be thick as well.

Fall fishing is not far off. The Clinch should fish well unless we have a wet fall. Sometime between mid October and early November, we should see flows start to come down. The Smokies are my personal favorite for fall fishing. The fish will be hungry and maybe even looking up!

Photo of the Month: Guide Trip Fish of the Year for the Smokies

Photo of the Month: Guide Trip Fish of the Year for the Smokies

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Exploration

Lately I've had exploration on my mind. As I prepare to head west in search of fly fishing nirvana, I've thought of past trips both close to home and far away. The terminology is relative of course. To me, close to home means I can go there often which means a 2-3 hour drive. This is a doable day trip and a nice weekend getaway.

Over the years, some of my favorite streams have been discovered on weekend trips where I go with little or no expectations simply hoping to see the world and maybe catch a fish or two in the process. From roaming the backcountry of the Great Smoky Mountains or Cherokee National Forest to trying new tailwaters throughout Eastern and Middle Tennessee, I've had many great trips. The memories these days have provided come not always just from the fish I catch although those are often memorable in themselves. Instead, I have enjoyed the overall experience...a deer wading deep across the Tellico River. A bear wandering a backroad in Georgia. The large copperhead near dark along the Hiwassee. Even fish occasionally, such as some of the epic days I've had high in the Smokies on new water. All of these combine to produce an experience that will not soon be forgotten.

Lately I've been thinking about the past years when we had more water and I didn't feel guilty fishing in the heat of the summer. My first trip to the Tellico area brought me face to face with Bald River Falls as it plunged over the cliff and down to mingle its waters with those of the larger Tellico River. The falls is an icon in my mind, representing the whole Tellico area which have given me plenty of pleasant surprises. It is a place to escape from the heat, to get out into nature and away from crowds if you know where to go.

Some of my favorite trips of exploration have been "out west." Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, South Dakota, all these states have a special place in my memory and not always because of the fishing. From hiking slot canyons in Utah to descending deep into the gaping Black Canyon of the Gunnison, my time has been well spent seeking those treasures only accessible to those willing to put forth some effort. It is always worth it and I look forward to my next discovery, the next hidden gem that I know I'll find, I just know it....

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