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

Friday, July 04, 2008

Don’t Take My Picture!!!

When I go fishing, I almost always carry a camera. One never knows when the perfect photo op will present itself, and of course there is always the possibility of catching a truly memorable fish. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about photographing fish however, it is that you can never expect a fish to just roll over and pose.

This presents a problem for the conscientious angler: how do you achieve the balance between getting the perfect shot and yet not compromising the life of the fish in the process?

There have been times where I’ve caught a nice fish but because of a variety of factors decided the shot was just not worth it. Perhaps the fish was acting severely stressed or the water temperature was quite high. Sometimes I feel like I didn’t play the fish fast enough and it just needs to be returned to its natural state as soon as possible. Often though I manage to come up with a decent picture.

There are a few things I try to keep in mind with respect to the health of the fish. First I always wet my hands before touching the fish. Too many times I’ve seen first hand the ugly result of improper handling. The fish will soon have nasty white spots where the mucous membrane has been damaged or removed if you are not careful. Second, I try to keep my fish in the water as much as possible. Many of my shots are taken with the fish laying on its side near shore, and these shots are always done either with the fish still lying in shallow water or on a wet bed of moss or grass. Fish should never be placed on dry dirt, rocks, or anything else streamside. Finally, I try to keep fish off of rocks that are not either in the water or more than a couple of inches from the water. If the fish starts flopping it can hurt itself if it doesn’t reach water immediately. Once again, the great shot is just not worth killing the fish.

Of course, sometimes in the excitement of the moment you still place fish in a less than ideal position for the photograph. I’ve done it plenty of times myself but by trying to remember the fish, you can usually get a good shot and keep the fish in shape for the next contest.

Fish are not always cooperative for pictures. Often they remind me of a young kid that is camera shy. I’ve got some hilarious pictures over the years when a picture was taken just as the fish bolted for freedom. This summer I’ve already had some pretty good ones. Maybe these are the best pictures of all. I’m left with a funny memory, because after all, it is supposed to be all about having fun…

A fish makes a bolt for freedom...


The fish leaps just as the picture is taken...

4 comments:

  1. Do you leave your optio on a certain setting all the time or switch it up? I have a w20 and it seems to take alot of blurry pictures, especially the shots i want!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Craig, I mostly just use the auto setting. The one thing I will change depending on what I'm trying to do is whether the flash is off or on auto. Mine takes plenty of blurry pictures as well so I generally take a few pictures of something I want to be sure and get...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ha - those are some of the best photos...they certainly tell a story!

    ReplyDelete

Newsletter

Subscribe to the Trout Zone Anglers Newsletter!

* indicates required