Guided Trips


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

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Fishing in 2008

Following the theme of change so prevalent in the presidential primary campaigns, 2008 is going to be about change for me on the fishing scene. I'm going back to my beginnings as a fly fisherman so to speak, back to the smaller streams and eager trout. Perhaps putting it more succinctly, less fishing on the tailwaters. Sure, I'll still fish the Caney when I'm home on the weekend occasionally and probably will still try to make it up to the Cumberland if they ever quit running water. I'll probably even make a trip or two up to the upper east Tennessee tailwaters. However, more than anything I want to spend my time back in the woods and hills of east Tennessee chasing the wild jewels that inhabit our streams.

I want to try some different flies and better learn how to fish some of the more technical hatches. This of course will undoubtedly involve learning some new techniques. Also, not only will I be fishing my favorite mountain streams, I also want to explore new ones, maybe even find a new favorite. This will involve a lot of time in the backcountry, both on day trips and longer overnight type trips as well. I have plans to experience more of what the Smokies have to offer. Specifically, I plan on checking some rumors of lake run fish on the south side of the park and all those streams that drain into Fontana Lake. Of course, I've been saying that I intend to do these trips for awhile so time will only tell if I really make it. I better start planning now so it happens...


  1. ijsouth11:27 PM

    You will have fun this year, no doubt. There are some streams in isolated corners of the park that I plan on exploring this year. There's nothing like fishing an area where few, if any, have fished before, and to have that water all to yourself.

  2. david, being in chattanooga, have you ever considered fishing some of the N GA streams? I don't know if there's any close to you there, but seems there would be.

  3. Tubakka9:18 PM

    Dave, I was floating the Caney the other day, and saw a guy on a run. He looked JUST LIKE YOU [well...seeing as how I've never met you, he was close enough for me to think from the pictures]. He said no, but he knew you and your blog and had his own blog. I forget his name. We need to share a boat this year on the Caney. The shad kill should be coming soon, and I fully intend to beat my 28" on the Caney when it does. I've come close, had a few razorbacks come up on jerkbaits, but I'm almost convinced that to consistently catch the largest fish, it's going to take jerkbaits mixed in with a good live bait program, almost like musky fishing with a sucker over the side. I have seen fish over 8 pounds the past 10 trips to the Caney, and caught a couple more over 20". Here's the one thing I don't see any of the flyfishermen doing and they're shooting themselves in the foot: go down to the dam, either in a boat or on shore, if you have to PUT THE FLYROD DOWN for 20 minutes, but if you can flycast down there, just do it. Throw a streamer, spoon, or jerkbait, and just watch. You may not get hit, but I guarantee you will at least SEE a 5lb+ fish dance around it if you are there just when they cut the gens. 5lb is really conservative, expect to see an 8 or 10 at least. My friend got one to strike the other day, and it just snapped his line. Definitely over 10, probably 30". It's a show, but no one seems to get it. I doubt there's a higher concentration of larger fish anywhere on that river, Or any tailrace river for that matter, than right below the dam.

  4. Tubakka, it would be great to float sometime. I'm hoping to make it up for the shad kill this year and have some big flies ready and will tie more. I've been wanting to fish just below the dam as well but it haven't bothered taking my canoe down yet...



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