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

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

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