Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 6/19/2017

Fishing is good to excellent across the area. The Caney Fork River continues to shine on both high and low water. In the Smokies, frequent rainfall have kept water in the streams so the fish are healthy and ready to eat!

Terrestrials are really coming on strong now. Ants and inchworms continue to get it done, and beetle fishing should be rapidly improving over the next two weeks. Isonychia mayfly nymphs are providing good fishing subsurface along with Golden and Little Yellow Stonefly nymphs. There is still a good variety of mayflies hatching in the higher elevations. Brook trout fishing is about as good as it gets now for those willing to walk. Even fishing roadside is good for now and will continue that way as long as we keep getting rain.

The Caney Fork River continues to fish anywhere from average to good on high water streamer floats. Anyone who wants to target trout with streamers will find this to be exciting fishing. Low water is becoming more and more likely, and if that trend continues we will see some great low water floats. The fish are hungry and we are going into some of the best fishing months on this fine tailwater. Midge hatches have been incredible on low or falling water and the fish are feeding. We have the right flies to catch the fish so book a guided trip now!

Cumberland Plateau smallmouth streams are rounding into fine shape now. Rain will bump flows up again, but in between the fish are hungry and willing to hammer a fly!


Photo of the Month: Shad Eating Rainbow

Photo of the Month: Shad Eating Rainbow

Monday, April 28, 2008

Twice the Fun


What's better than catching a fish? That would be catching two fish, at the same time that is... The white bass and hybrids were slamming baitfish in the shallows last evening. The fishing was just plain silly. Basically, it was as easy as waiting for a school of fish to come by busting bait, toss my flies in, twitch them a couple of times, and hold on. I had multiple fish on more than once but only actually landed one double.


Late in the evening, some slightly larger fish started coming up. I stuck one really good one but couldn't get a solid hookup. Finally I got a good one on and after a solid fight I landed a good fish. The rain was starting to pick back up about this time so I called it a day...one of my better ones lately...

Friday, April 25, 2008

New Poll

I'm trying to get a feel for how often everyone visits my blog. Do you check daily and are always disappointed with the lack of daily updates or do you only stop by once in awhile to see what's happening? I'm debating putting more time into this blog but want to know if it is worth it. Just vote over on the poll and let me know how often you stop by...thanks!!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Back on the Tennessee


My curiosity has got the best of me the past couple of evenings. I've been heading down to see what is happening and today was finally a good one! Things started off quickly with a fish on within 3-4 casts and it never really slowed down all that much.


The highlight of the day was my first crappie which has been one of my goals for fishing down there. All that's really left now is a smallie and a striper. I'm about ready to give up on the striper until next winter but we'll see. The smallie is another story, and I should be able to get one of those but time will tell.


The Skipjack are still around. Last night I hooked what probably would have been my best one yet but it threw the hook a minute or so into the fight. Tonight I found a good spot where the action stayed hot for the last hour or so of daylight... Hopefully I'll have time to try again here in the next few days but with finals next week, that may be difficult. Also, it is possible that the Caney Fork might have a wadeable window this upcoming weekend. If it does, I'll be heading down to see how the fish our doing...

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Walk in the Park


That's exactly what I did this past Sunday. The weekend was spent camping at Elkmont which was great as always albeit a bit expensive. They seriously need a student rate so poor college students like myself can enjoy some time in the park without breaking the bank. I guess I just need to start backpacking instead of car camping...and now I'm off topic...

One of my favorite ways of fishing is to hike in on a day trip, sometimes up to 15-16 miles roundtrip. Sunday's goal was not that optimistic. I'm out of shape after a lazy winter so 10 miles roundtrip seemed reasonable. The trailhead at Elkmont was reasonably busy when I arrived at 10:00 a.m. Sunday morning. An hour later, I was 4 miles deep in the backcountry and ready to start fishing. The stream temperature was about 48 degrees and the clouds hinted that the air temp might not climb much as the day progressed.


A double nymph rig seemed reasonable considering the conditions and I tied on a GRHE with a softhackle dropper and a couple small split shot. After a couple fruitless casts, an energetic rainbow hit the Hares Ear and the day progressed nicely in similar fashion. An hour later I had caught 10 fish and was getting hungry. During lunch I began noticing that every time the sun poked through the clouds bugs would start flying up from the stream. After I started fishing it began to make sense. The rocks were all covered with newly hatched yellow stoneflies. It was too cold to fly quickly so they were waiting for the warmth of the sun to take to the air.


This revelation brought out my trusty Tellico nymph as the new dropper and the catching continued. Not long after lunch I hooked and lost the best fish of the day, a brown pushing 11 inches. I missed a nice brookie as well but the rainbows kept coming to hand at a steady pace.


Somewhere after 30 fish I began to wonder if they might hit a dry and out come a yellow Neversink Caddis. The fish must have been starving, because they attacked it with reckless abandon. The time was slipping away unfortunately so I finally called it a day and started the trek back to the trailhead with another amazing day on the water under my belt. By 7:00 p.m. I was on the road back to Chattanooga with a great sunset in front of me and a relaxing weekend behind...

Big Trout

That's right, big beautiful rainbow trout. Unfortunately I'm not the one that caught them. There's nothing quite like battling a large trout on a fly rod and Tom Chandler over at the Trout Underground seemingly hit the jackpot on a private pond making the rest of the world (or at least those of us that fly fish) envious in the process. Definitely check it out, but I warn you that anything related to work or school will be difficult to near impossible as you start daydreaming of that upcoming trip where maybe, must maybe, you will battle your own monster trout...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Bassin'

Finally got a little bass the other day while fishing the Tennessee River. Took a bright pink fly...go figure...



The interesting thing I saw on this trip was a really nice crappie one of the spin guys had caught from shore. My experience with these fish is limited mainly to spinning gear way back in the day, but I have caught a few small ones on the fly. Hopefully I'll find some nice ones soon though, because they're a blast to catch...

The highlight of the day really wasn't the fishing, and the fishing wasn't bad. It was the sunset I saw while standing nearly waste deep in the choppy waters with fish rolling on the surface out in the current. The cool northwest wind was blowing that foretold the near-freezing temperatures that are forecast tonight and tomorrow night. Herons occasionally sailed gracefully over the scene and ducks were working along the shoreline. As it grew closer to dark, bass started coming up in the shallows busting baitfish. All in all, it was a perfect way to spend the evening...

Hiwassee Hatches

For the first time in awhile, I made it over to the Hiwassee again. The day was fairly predictable when it came to the bugs. Morning action was largely on midges along with a few fish on softhackles. In the afternoon, there were caddis early on transitioning to BWOs and Hendricksons between 3:30 and 4:00. A buddy took a couple stomach samples and the morning sample was all midges whereas the afternoon sample was mainly BWO's along with a few larger mayflies. The fishing was good for numbers but not much on size for me. One guy I was fishing with had a really good fish take a caddis dry but lost it quickly. If you're looking for a quick trip, the HI is a good bet right now but you'll mainly be catching stocker rainbows. I'm looking towards the mountains for my next trout excursion where I hope to find lots of wild fish rising lazily all day long in remote pools that rarely see a fly...stay tuned for more as this develops...

A couple of the bugs...


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tennessee Tarpon


The Skipjack are running now and fishing for them is a blast. I tried it out for the first time today and had a great time! They hit like a freight train and jump like a rainbow trout...can't get any better than that. On the down side, my cheap 6 wt rod seems to be cracking. I can't tell if it's just the finish or not but regardless, I'll probably have to switch over to my 5 wt for warmwater fishing. Should be interesting...





Caught a few other fish as well...


Monday, April 07, 2008

New Video

Check out the new video I posted below from this past Friday. The white bass were hitting well although it took me awhile to figure things out. The key was a VERY slow retrieve or else they wouldn't touch it. They were feeding heavily on shad and other minnows (see photo below). In addition to the bass, I also caught a nice thick bluegill.


I went again for a little while yesterday and things were slow. The one hit I had was big though. My fly was drifting along nicely when my line stopped and shot forward. I quickly set the hook to find what felt like a swimming rock attached. It bolted downstream ripping line until I was very near to be in my backing. After what seemed like an eternity, I had a large (estimated at around 10 pounds) drum up almost to the bank but couldn't get it to budge any further. Finally, it threw the hook right at my feet. It was a sad moment but then, I wasn't too upset because I've already caught them and I was really wanting to hook a striper. Maybe next time...

Cloudy Day Bass

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Hitting the River

I had a couple of hours free this afternoon and made a quick run over to the Tennessee River here in Chattanooga. The fishing is good right now with lots of active fish. I managed a nice largemouth to go along with the usual yellow bass. Unfortunately I had a problem with the camera so no pictures to share...

The largemouth hit a #4 Simi Seal Streamer stripped fairly fast in shallow water and the yellow bass liked a smaller #8 white woolly bugger fished a bit slower. The exciting news is that the stripers are being caught the last few days. According to another fisherman I talked to, there was at one guy that caught nice stripers on 3 consecutive casts at one point. I'm guessing they were probably schooling and chasing baitfish. That is my goal for fishing the river, to catch a striper. Hopefully I'll accomplish that one soon...

I'll be going back to fishing for trout, probably sometime next week, but until then I might make another trip over to the river to look for those stripers. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Foolish Fish


April Fools should obviously be spent playing a joke on someone or fooling them in some way. I decided that the best way to spend the day would be fooling some fish. Besides, I've been missing the Park a lot lately so I headed up towards Townsend.

After a stop at Little River Outfitters, I was soon on my way into the park to see how the fish were doing. My goal for the spring is to catch a big brown. I didn't get off to a great start yesterday in that category but had fun nevertheless. Oddly, I never even saw any large fish which is unusual, even when I stopped at the pool where I ALWAYS see a big fish or two.

Other than the lack of big fish (at least to my limited searching abilities), it was a beautiful day in the park. The fish were acting a bit strange and not rising as much as I thought they should. Still, I was able to catch a few on a dry fly for the first time in awhile up there. Sadly, the dry fly action has supposedly been awesome recently but it was a little off for me yesterday, not to mention the fact that I needed to shake the rust off of my reflexes. Those wild fish are just a completely different ballgame than what I've fished for over the winter.


The low point of the day for me was watching a nice brown of 13-14 inches take my dropper (a softhackle at that point of the day), and I didn't set the hook in time...only fast enough to feel a brief resistance as the hook pulled free. I even got the fish interested twice more but couldn't get it to commit again. The day had high points as well including a nice rainbow that was a bit larger than the other small fish I was catching. All the rainbows were extremely colorful...


The interesting discovery I made was that the drought really seems to have been good for the browns. I was catching a lot more browns and in places that have always held rainbows in the past. Hopefully we'll see more quality browns for the next couple of years as a benefit of the otherwise bad drought we experienced but time will only tell. Overall I had a great day and can't wait to go again, hopefully in another week or so...

Still Fishing

That's what all, or at least most, of you seem to be doing (according to our recent poll) despite the rising gas prices. Apparently a few are stuck in my boat and limiting both trips and fishing-related purchases/spending. However the majority haven't been affected by the high price for a gallon of gas right now. Perhaps I should open a fund so all of you more fortunate people can donate to poor college students like myself... The Help a Student Go Fishing Trust Fund...I like it!!!

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