Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 01/08/2020

Unusually warm and wet conditions continue to prevail here in middle and east Tennessee. This upcoming weekend is looking like more rain and possibly even severe weather. The wind forecast is bad enough that I wouldn't bother going fishing until Sunday at the earliest unless you can go tomorrow.

In the Smokies, nymphing will be the name of the game, but don't be surprised to see some blue-winged olives from time to time. With all the high water, think streamers, big stoneflies, or worm imitations.

Tailwaters like the Caney Fork and Clinch are still rolling with a lot of water. Both rivers are over 10,000 cfs. While this is still fishable, I don't really recommend it. Flows this high are generally all about swinging for the fences if you feel like hunting a trophy. Many days it won't happen. Once in a while it will. Throw big streamers, hope for a shad kill, and get out there. Those big fish won't get caught if you're sitting home on the couch.

The Caney will produce decent fishing if we ever get flows back down at least a little. One generator would be ideal. Right now I'll even take two. Minimum flow looks a long ways off right now.

On the Clinch, you can throw streamers and also possible nymph up a few fish. If you pick your spots, there are places to nymph even on 12,000 cfs. Let's hope it gets back down to two generators or less soon. Every time we get a big rain event, look for some low water for a day or two or three. TVA will hold water back at tributary dams like Norris to reduce downstream high water effects. This gives those of us who like to wade a day or two to fish.

Winter is our favorite time to get on the musky streams. In between bouts of high water, those will be fishing well for the next few months.

Photo of the Month: Starting the Year Off Right

Photo of the Month: Starting the Year Off Right

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Junk and Shame

In fly fishing, there is the purist approach where you fish upstream and with dries only. Often you don't wade but instead walk the stream banks looking for that rising fish to cast to. Then there's that other approach, the one where you use flies that are gaudy and often quite ugly. Of course, there is a lot of middle ground here that one can comfortably negotiate without going all out one way or the other. I fall somewhere between the two extremes but occasionally resort to somewhat questionable methods that always leave me feeling a little guilty.

Most if not all of the "junk" flies actually imitate something the fish might be able to eat. Then why the guilty conscience? As do many fly fisherman, I prefer to fish dry flies but when they aren't rising enough to keep me happy, I'll tie on something else in a heartbeat. In fact, I sometimes get annoyed fishing dries because if the fishing is too good, then I must constantly(or so it seems) be drying the fly or tying on another.

The recent poll suggested that many of you would not want to fish an egg pattern or a SJ worm. I'm guessing that those are probably the ones that are much closer to mastering the art of fly fishing than I am. It is easy and enlightening to view junk flies as a crutch and in my opinion they are (and yet I still use them). That is probably why I feel guilty using them.

The majority are in the same boat as I am and admitted to using these flies on occasion. A few of you disagreed with my assessment of what is and what isn't a junk fly. I'm curious which ones and why if you care to respond. Just hit the comment button and let me know what you think....

Finally, much thanks to the purist out there!!! I was beginning to think that no one that fit that category was going to vote...I applaud you for maintaining the purity of tradition in this fine sport... Hopefully I'll be coming closer to your side of the debate by weaning myself from the use of junk flies although I doubt you'll see me giving up wet flies any time soon...

New poll is up by the way...check it out!

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