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

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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