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

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Candy Ants

Officially summer has yet to begin. Apparently someone missed the memo however, because it has been excessively hot here in East Tennessee. July and August are usually our warmest months and when the heat is combined with lower rainfall, the streams start to warm up a little more than is generally healthy for trout. This year the weather seems to be backward with the temperature in the Little River at the Wye above Townsend spiking up into the 70’s during the afternoon. The streams are starting to get a bit low as well but the forecast shows hope for that and for cooler (at least relatively) temperatures to go along with the much-needed rain.

With the streams warming up and getting low, it is time to start thinking about terrestrials. One thing I’ve noticed during recent fishing trips is the number of ants on the water. Apparently the fish have also been taking notice. Yesterday evening I hit the stream for about an hour and a half. I decided to stick to terrestrials with one of those being an ant pattern. For my other fly I tied on the famed Green Weenie (dropped the ant of that) and added a bit of split shot.

Ants must taste like candy to trout. Approximately ¾ of the trout I caught ate the ant pattern, and most of them hit with gusto. Not only did I catch plenty of fish but also caught some nice ones including one a bit over 8 inches (pictured) and another that was in the 10 inch range that took off while I was messing with my camera. With the water being low, it is extremely important to be stealthy while fishing right now. If you sneak directly up behind the fish you can often spot them out feeding in the prime lie in each hole. The hatches seem to be starting to slow down some, but there is still a good variety of insects on the water including the little yellow stoneflies and a few random mayflies and caddis. Still, the top item in the buffet appears to be ants in all shapes and sizes, but the majority I’ve seen around the water look to be averaging about a #16.


If we get the rain that’s forecast, the fishing should pick up and be good for a day or two at least. Some of my better days in the park are during the summer just after a good rainstorm. The streams will rise a few inches and become a bit stained. At that time the fish will be a bit less skittish and easier to catch. Remember that the rain will be washing a lot of terrestrials into the water so be sure and have plenty of inchworm imitations to go along with some ants and beetles.

Today I have to finish (hopefully) processing the Wapsi order and get all the products out on the shelves. Yesterday I began to get a taste of the misery from the large order so today I should be in the bowels of Wapsi Hell. I think that calls for another evening fishing trip…

2 comments:

  1. Nice blog David! I've enjoyed reading about your adventures!

    DarrinG

    ReplyDelete
  2. DarrinG, thanks for reading my blog and glad you enjoy it...

    ReplyDelete

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