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 31, 2007

Just in Time

Temperatures have plummeted over the last couple of days and they are now running generators for several hours in the morning and evening on the Caney which means my fishing is severely restricted. Thankfully, I got in one last (or perhaps next to last, I might have to go again Friday) trip on Monday.

I met up with a fishing buddy that had only fished the Caney once and wanted to see some access points. We started up high on the river not too far below the dam and things started out kinda slow. I was experimenting with a 3 fly rig, a dry for an indicator followed by a zebra midge and then some type of weighted nymph pattern. Early on, I tried the Copper John that had been doing well during previous recent trips. After that didn't work, I tried another nymph pattern or two before checking a rock off the bottom. Several scuds in the #18-#22 size range were scurrying around ranging in color from gray to olive. I had recently tied up some new patterns that I thought would imitate a scud well and tied it on. Soon I had my first fish and things were looking up. One of my nicest (not largest) fish of the day soon followed, so richly colored that if I hadn't known any better, I would have said it was a wild fish from an East Tennessee freestone stream. Sometimes the biggest fish aren't the best...

The rest of the day continued much better than the first part. It seemed like many of the fish in the river were feeding on scuds. In the deep runs, you could see the flashing of light off the sides of fish as they fed right on the bottom. After getting tired of fishing the upper river, we headed down and caught up with the generation pulse were the water was still falling out. Fish were up in the shallows over weed beds once again feeding heavily, and this time we did well with quite a few browns coming to hand. None were huge but all were healthy fish that fought well, often putting on acrobatic aerial displays. A few fish even took the dry that was serving as an indicator so all in all it was a nice day.

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