Guided Trips


Things have changed a lot since the last report. Unseasonably warm weather has kicked off the first hatches of the year in the Great Smoky Mountains while an extremely wet February means all of the tailwaters are blown out across middle and east Tennessee.

If you want to fish in the Smokies, nymphs and streamers will be your best bet unless you encounter a hatch. In that case, Blue Quills and Quill Gordons should be in your arsenal as well as Blue-winged Olives.

For now, just forget about the tailwaters in the short term. continued rain means it will be at least another month before the tailwaters are fishable again. With luck, we can start thinking about some streamer float trips on the Caney Fork in mid to late March, although that may be optimistic. In the meantime, head for the mountains and enjoy chasing the wild trout there.

Photo of the Month: Breaking Cabin Fever

Photo of the Month: Breaking Cabin Fever

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


  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.

  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 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

  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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