Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 01/08/2019

In the Smokies, fishing has been good to great with unseasonably mild temperatures. With colder weather in store over the next couple of days, expect the fishing to drop off a bit. In other words, things will be more like normal winter fishing conditions in the short term. At some point we expect winter to return for real as well, but time will tell on that one.

On the tailwaters, we are dealing with massive amounts of water with no end in sight. The Caney Fork and Clinch Rivers are both rolling at very high levels. While a few fish can certainly be found on each of these, there are safer and better places to catch a few trout. The one bit of good news here? The reservoirs seem to be mostly falling now so somewhere down the road we might get better flows again.

Musky fishing should be starting to turn on. Flows are starting to drop into what we consider to be the sweet spot on our favorite rivers. Check back for more on this as we have time to get out on the water.

Photo of the Month: Cold Weather Jaws

Photo of the Month: Cold Weather Jaws

Friday, March 07, 2008

Tough Days

Days where you seem to catch fish every cast are a lot of fun albeit unrealistic. Yes, it usually takes at least some type of skill to have great days even when the fish are "on." However, it is the slow days that really show you where you are at. March has started out tough for me. On Monday, the 3rd, I took a quick trip to the Smokies.

I had a tough time bringing a couple of fish to hand on nymphs. One of my problems seems to have been that I fished Abrams creek for awhile in the afternoon. It probably would have been better to stick to Little River. The water I covered on Abrams apparently had already been fished through earlier in the day (which I naturally didn't find out until after the fact) which made things very tough. Then again, it just seemed like one of those days where things aren't working well for me.

It happened again yesterday. A buddy and I went up to Upper East Tennessee to fish the South Holston and Watauga. Unfortunately, both rivers were still suffering the effects of the recent heavy rains and where anywhere from stained to muddy depending on where you were fishing in relation to the dams. On the South Holston, the fish were feeding heavily but it didn't seem to make any difference. I only managed a couple fish over the course of the day, a small 'bow and a small brown.

Knowledge and observation is the key to succeeding on the water. Both of my recent fishing trips I was lacking in both categories. Unfortunately, it was more in the knowledge than the observation. If I had brought the appropriate fly patterns, I believe that I could have been catching plenty of fish on the SoHo. Blackflies were hatching in large numbers and at least one riffle had good numbers of rusty spinners hovering over it but not many fish were in that particular water. The blackflies were my main trouble. I had some good larva patterns and they produced several takes throughout the afternoon but I was having trouble hooking up. Late in the day, I believe the fish switched mainly to taking the adults and this is where my troubles began. No patterns equals no fish. It was fairly obvious what was hatching and what the fish wanted but I didn't have anything even close to a good match. That won't happen again. Next time I'll have some appropriate patterns ready and the fish will be more willing. Until then, I'll be at the vise getting ready...

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