Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 01/22/2020

High flows continue across the area but trends are definitely down. A recent cold snap broke the ongoing heatwave so fishing in the mountains has slowed dramatically. Right on schedule, some of our tailwaters should begin returning to more normal flows for this time of year meaning float trips are certainly possible.

For the Smokies, a warming trend should commence as we go into next week. By mid week the fishing should be decent before the next cold front returns us back to winter again. On warmer days, look for midges and possibly winter stoneflies hatching. Some blue-winged olives will be possible on foul weather days as we head towards February. The best fishing is still a few weeks out, but no longer feels like an eternity. Expect good spring hatches to start in late February or early March with blue quills and quill gordons along with little black caddis and early brown and black stones. By April, things will be settling down with the pinnacle of spring fishing usually happening from mid April through the month of May.

On our area tailwaters, high water continues to be the story. The Caney Fork still has at least a couple of weeks of high flows and that is assuming we don't get any more heavy rainfall. This time of year, that is asking a lot. The high water is good for one thing, however. Shad. Yes, the cold months are prime time to try and hit the famed shad kill and catch a monster brown trout. Same thing goes for the Clinch.

Speaking of the Clinch, the good news is that flows are scheduled to begin dropping tomorrow. A steady two generators will feel like low water after the recent period of two generators plus sluicing. Two generators opens up some nymphing possibilities in addition to our favorite winter pastime, stripping streamers for monsters.

The musky streams are settling into fine shape and will be an option moving forward as well. Remember that bouts of high water will get them stained or even muddy for a few days, but as flows come down the fishing should pick back up.

Photo of the Month: Starting the Year Off Right

Photo of the Month: Starting the Year Off Right

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Trout!!!


Spring break was the last time I fished for trout and that was almost a month ago now. This was a problem that needed to be corrected so I finally made it up to the Hiwassee. The river should be turning on really well with big hatches of Hendricksons and a few BWOs along with the usual caddis and I wanted to see how things were coming. The desire to fish dry flies was strong, so strong in fact that when I arrived and only saw a few stray bugs, I tied on a Neversink Caddis in dark brown with a caddis-olive softhackle as a dropper.

The first few casts gave me a rise to the softhackle, but after several more I knew that the fish wouldn't be tearing up the dry. Accordingly, I tied on my early season go-to fly on the Hiwassee, a #16 beadhead black simi seal leech pattern which apparently does a good job imitating all the small dark stonefly nymphs that are active this time of year. This proved to be the ticket and I started hooking fish. Not tearing them up mind you but catching one here and one there at a decent pace.


As the day progressed, I saw a few stray mayflies that looked like they might have been Hendricksons but no large hatch yet. The highlight of the day was catching a fish on the dry. A good hatch of tiny (think #34-#40) yellowish midges was in progress and the fish were taking pupa just under the surface. A small midge dropped under a dry seemed like a good option so I tied on the caddis again for the dry. After completing the new rig, I started working the current tongues just above a hole that usually produces a few rainbows. Suddenly, a shadow floated up off the bottom. I fully expected it to reject my fly but it just kept coming. Suddenly it broke the surface as it inhaled the dry fly. A nice smooth hookset later I had a fish on. It wasn't a monster but it sure was fun...


The river is fishing okay right now but that's it. I caught 14 or 15 fish over the course of the day but it could have been much better if the bugs were hatching. One big guy bumped my fly but couldn't find the hook apparently. The fly of the day was the black simi seal pattern and the water was right around 50 degrees. I'm willing to bet that in another 1-2 weeks, the river will be on fire as far as the hatches are concerned. Rainy or at least cloudy days will be best... Be there...

1 comment:

  1. Orvis's new hellgramite articulated pattern!!! I say no more!

    ReplyDelete

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