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

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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