Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 12/3/2019

Winter fishing is nearly upon us. Snow yesterday has given way to falling water temperatures in the Smokies. In general, fish will be hunkered down, although by tomorrow they should start to get more active again as temperatures warm. For the next three months, expect many more fish in the slower places in the Park. Think nymphs and maybe streamers but don't be surprised to find fish rising to blue-winged olives or midges on some days.

On tailwaters like the Clinch, brown trout and some fall spawn rainbows are doing their thing. This is a good time to review good ethics when it comes to spawning trout. Remember that these are the next generation of trout and the best thing you can do is to leave them alone. Avoid wading through spawning areas and don't fish for obvious spawners. For the foreseeable future, we should have high water thanks to big rains this last weekend. Fishing out of the drift boat will be very good through the winter with both nymphing and streamer fishing a distinct possibility. Want to swing for the fences and go for just one monster? Streamers will just get better and better going into January and February.

The Caney is slowly coming around. A few shad are coming through the dam, but lingering water quality problems are limiting the fishing. Winter streamer floats will produce shots at larger brown trout for anglers willing to work hard. Next spring should bring good fishing again.

Winter is our favorite time to get on the musky streams. In between bouts of high water, those will be fishing well for the next few months.

Photo of the Month: Big Fish Chuck Strikes Again

Photo of the Month: Big Fish Chuck Strikes Again

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Recent Fishing


Finally, a fishing report! Yesterday I decided I couldn't wait any longer and headed down to the Caney Fork River. With gas prices approaching $4/gallon, it is hard to go fishing too often. Thankfully I'll be in the Smokies for the summer and can pretty much fish whenever I want, but more on that later...for now back to the fishing...

Summer is a lazy time for me immediately after school gets out and before I start at a summer job. I generally don't get up early even if it is to go fishing (tomorrow I might make an exception). Yesterday was no different and I planned to start fishing when they shut off the generators at 11:00 a.m. On the way down, I noticed a few members of the Buffalo Valley deer herd.


The river was becoming crowded when I arrived since wadeable water was hard to come by. I found my own bit of river and started fishing and was soon becoming disgusted with all the little guys that couldn't stay off my flies. Apparently the spring stocking of small browns happened recently and they were all ravenously hungry.

After messing with the small fish for awhile, I finally started moving around and found a few better rainbows.
The section I was fishing was becoming pretty boring though and I soon decided to try something else and headed downriver to catch up with the falling water. The new location proved to be much better and I finally got to try a setup I've been wanting to use for awhile. The main difference with other deep nymph rigs I've used in the past was the strike indicator. I finally found the conditions perfect for use with a Thingamabobber, and I made the most of it. The indicator worked great and was extremely sensitive showing every little tick on the bottom not to mention the fish that seemed to be flocking to my flies. The fly combination that seemed to work best was a Copper John for weight with a small midge dropped behind. Plenty of fish liked the Copper John as well as the midge. I think this setup will become one of my favorites for the Caney Fork.


I hooked several nice fish landing a several chunky rainbows, a nice little brown, and my first Caney Fork brookie! What a day...


4 comments:

  1. Great report! Regarding the Thingamabobber, are you using the 1/2" diameter? I'm going to order some and was curious as to what you're using on the tandem setup.

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  2. The ones I have are 3/4" but I think the 1/2" would be better as far as not spooking fish. I will warn you of one problem, and that is getting the indicator to stay in one spot. I've seen several solutions including building up the "hole" where the leader loops through with aquaseal, etc. Another is to use one of the rubber bands like they use on braces (you should be able to get them at any orthodontist I would think). It is well worth the time to find a solution though because these indicators are awesome!

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  3. This is quite histarical! Kris Mauer mentioned Orvis now selling them...I told him LRO has had em' for a while now and I also mentioned being frightfull of the indicator slide factor! Long story short I just told him I couldn't see a brass ring that won't wrap around the line staying put! I guess I was right and will have to report to him on that matter! Good to know!

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  4. Brett, it is a problem that I would think will be corrected eventually. In the meantime, the indicators are good enough to be worth buying a few and fixing them somehow...I haven't tride it yet but I think I'm gonna try the rubber band trick as it looks like the best option I've seen...

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