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

Monday, December 03, 2007

Better Than Nothing



Everyone has those days when you're catching fish but they just can't compare with the fish in another location. After being spoiled on my home waters over Thanksgiving break, the rubber trout of the Hiwassee didn't give the same thrill that they sometimes do. For example, if I haven't fished in a few weeks, the Hiwassee is great, and usually I'll catch a few colorful fish that make up for the rest of the dumb stockers. This last weekend wasn't one of those days. All the fish were cookie cutter stockers that looked like this:


When you compare this guy to the fish I regularly catch on my home waters, there's just no comparison.


The day wasn't completely useless as I discovered some very nice browns that should give me a great challenge this winter. If I'm lucky, perhaps I'll eventually catch one of the big boys. Thankfully, Christmas break will be here soon and I'll be back on the Caney and will probably even get some time in on the South Holston. Not a bad way to spend the holidays... Until then, you'll find me at the vise preparing for the festivities.

December 2006, SoHo

3 comments:

  1. Anonymous7:05 PM

    Those rubber trout must be a specialty of Tennessee Fish & Game; I hung a few in Cosby, just before the stream leaves the park. All about the same size (around 12"), and no fight to them, even on a 2wt. I don't carry a net, but this is one time I wished I had one - I lost them both right at my hand, and I wouldn't have had any qualms about keeping them - the kids would have loved that.

    Amazingly, in the same stretch, I caught a beautiful, wild 7" bow that actually hit the reel - amazing what a difference it was in fighting ability...I was happy to release that one. In the meantime, a big egret or blue heron could get very fat on those dumb fish.

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  2. Anonymous5:11 PM

    First of all, GREAT SITE! Since I found this blog I check in almost daily to see what you've been catching. Between you and DD at hiwassee.net I have learned a great deal about fly-fishing, I am about 4 months into it now and am starting to actually catch a few. I think all of the fish I have caught have had some kind of brain-damage. Anyway, I live about 30 minutes from the Hiwassee and have to agree that there is not much going on there lately. I even hiked down the Quality Zone 3 times with only a small brown to show for it (it is very beautiful there, though).

    After seeing all the fish that you have caught on the Caney, I am now planning a trip there this weekend to check it out for the first time. I hope I get lucky and catch a few nice ones. My favorite rig-up is a brown hackle peacock with a pheasant tail nymph dropper. Think this set-up will work there as well? Any other advice would be well recieved! Again, great site, I know newbies like me really appreciate it!

    Mike C. Athens, TN

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  3. Mike, first of all, thanks for reading my blog. Your favorite rig should catch fish on the Caney. If you're going to be there in the morning, I would recommend adding a midge (I like zebra midges) to your setup. The fish seem to key on the midge pupa early in the day as the bugs start hatching and the zebra midge is a good match. If you look through the archives here on my blog (Feb. 2007 to be exact), I posted about how I rig up with a zebra midge. That is how I do a lot of my fishing on the Caney but to be successful, you'll need some other techniques as well and your softhackle with a PT dropper should cover some other situations well. This weekend should be good so have fun!

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