Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 09/04/2019

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

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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