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

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...

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