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

Monday, July 21, 2008

Book Review: “The Fly Caster Who Tried to Make Peace with the World”

I finished reading it quite some time ago and finally made the time to write this short review on “The Fly Caster Who Tried to Make Peace with the World,” by Randy Kadish. Originally I intended to read a little each night and finish this book sometime near the end of my time here in the Smokies. The idea behind this being that it would provide some entertainment each night as I enjoy reading nearly as much as I like to fish. In the end the idea proved to be a bad one, mainly because this book held my attention more and more the farther I got. I ended up finishing it in about three evenings of staying up much later than I should have. It was just impossible to set down.

The thing that really struck me about this book was how familiar it all seemed. The leading character, Ian Mac Bride, becomes a fly fisherman because of the beauty of fly casting. I can still remember when I was very young. My family was vacationing in the Smokies and as we drove up through Townsend towards the park, I looked out the window and saw to fly fisherman making picture-perfect casts in the middle of Little River. Young as I was, I knew that someday I would fly fish

The title sums up the theme of the book. Ian uses fly fishing as an escape from the ugliness of the world around him. It was his way of getting away from everything else and enjoying the beauty of nature which soothes the soul. Fly fishing is my way of relaxing. Even when I’m at school and have an important paper or project, a few hours on the water allows me to leave it all behind and forget the stresses of everyday life.

This book is not only about one single character however. Randy Kadish intertwines the lives and stories of some of the leading pioneers in American fly fishing to produce a thoughtful and entertaining story. The title informs the reader of the struggle going on in the leading character with the sometimes ugly world that we all see. However it is often as much a struggle with the world as it is within himself. Fly fishing seems to be as much an escape from himself as from the world around. Ian desires to be the greatest distance fly caster. The book revolves around his journey from beginner to expert caster. Life brings sadness and suffering but also joy. In the end, Ian faces all his disappointment and hurt from the past and enters one last fly casting tournament. This moment is not just a chance to be the best fly caster but almost seems to be the chance to prove himself. Sometimes in life there are things we feel like we have to do even if we don’t know why. Ian Mac Bride had basically given up distance fly casting but in the end felt the need to try one last time to win a distance tournament.

This book was a great read. The only complaint I have was something that bothered me early on but not as much later on in the book. The storyline seemed to jump between two distinctly different plots. The main plot of course was about Ian Mac Bride and the other doesn’t really seem necessary to the book. However, when all was said and done it didn’t really detract from the book.

As I already mentioned, this book is very easy to relate to. The leading character goes through many of the same struggles and experiences many of the same heartaches as the rest of us. Despite the story being set in the early age of American fly fishing many years ago, it still speaks to the reader. If you enjoy a theme of fly fishing woven into fiction then this book is worth checking out.

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