Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 09/04/2019

Fishing has slowed down in some places and heated up in others. Smallmouth bass fishing on the streams of the Cumberland Plateau has been good to excellent while the tailwaters have slowed down somewhat.

In the Smokies, streams are getting low and warm. Stick with mid and high elevation streams for now until we get some rain and cooler weather. Right now it looks like this will probably last for another week although we do have some rain forecast next week. Let's hope that happens! A variety of bugs are working here, but lean heavily on your terrestrial box. Yellow Stimulators in particular have also been good lately.

The Caney Fork continues to produce a few fish here and there. Stripers are still thick in the river which isn't helping the trout at all. As long as things stay dry, this will be a viable option. There are a few large fish present if you know where to look. Yesterday's big fish was a 21.5" rainbow caught while sight fishing. Don't expect that every day, but if you're prepared to put in your time, there are good fish to be caught (and released!!!).

The Clinch seems to be in the middle of the annual late summer drawdown of Norris Lake. High water will be the norm here for the next few weeks. If you don't have a boat, then don't bother except, possibly, during early mornings. Weekends are offering some morning windows but crowds will generally be thick as well.

Fall fishing is not far off. The Clinch should fish well unless we have a wet fall. Sometime between mid October and early November, we should see flows start to come down. The Smokies are my personal favorite for fall fishing. The fish will be hungry and maybe even looking up!

Photo of the Month: Guide Trip Fish of the Year for the Smokies

Photo of the Month: Guide Trip Fish of the Year for the Smokies

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Colorado Sampler Part 2


Now that everyone has probably forgotten all about my glorious trip (yes I am gloating), I'm going to bring it back up. I promised some more stories from Colorado so here's part 2. Recall that our first stop was at the Taylor River and while we caught fish, things were not quite as good as last year. Last year there was one river we didn't get to fish. I was quite disappointed because the Gunnison is probably one of my favorites. This made up for last year and then some.

Our first day on the Gunnison consisted largely of moving and setting up camp, but in the evening we got in a few hours of fishing. We made our way downriver from the campground as the shadows crept up the towering canyon walls. When we started fishing, it took a little time to get things figured out, but it was worth the effort.

We were camping at East Portal which is as far upriver as you can go in the Black Canyon National Park and the only place in the park where you can drive to the river. The fishing here is generally considered technical with small midge patterns accounting for a lot of the success. As you go downriver, hopper/dropper rigs begin to work better. The river has a large biomass which supports one of the designated Gold Medal waters in the state of Colorado. Rainbows and browns grow quickly and average an honest 16-17" at least in the East Portal area. Finding the fish is easy since the large fish often feed high in the water column and in the riffles in only 18-24" of water. Figuring out what they are eating can be a little more tricky.

I started out fishing a Copper John that has produced well on the Gunnison in years past. The fish didn't seem particularly impressed though and I started thinking about trying something else. Fate decided to intervene on our behalf and my fly snagged the bottom of the river bringing up a large clump of weeds. Instead of throwing the mess away in disgust, I did a quick bug check in the mass of green. Our problem became obvious since there were a ton of tiny midge larva throughout the weeds and not much else.

A hurried check of the fly boxes turned up some of east Tennessee guide Hugh Hartsell's blackfly larva pattern in black and brown. With just a little surgery to cut off the poly yarn sticking off the front, I soon had a decent larva pattern and was into fish right away. Several fish later in just a matter of a few minutes had us both convinced that we didn't have nearly enough larva patterns.


I stuck 2 or 3 large fish and even saw one before it ran into the heavy current that would have approached 24". All the fish I brought to hand were in the 16-18" range and interesting were mainly browns. That's the perfect size for having a lot of fun if you ask me and I was having a blast. Unfortunately our small supply of midges was quickly drying up so we planned on a quick trip to town for more tying supplies. I only had 2 colors of the proper material for these magical larva and wanted a better match. The next day would prove the flies capabilities even further...


1 comment:

  1. David,
    Sweet, looking forward to the third installment.

    Travis

    ReplyDelete

Newsletter

Subscribe to the Trout Zone Anglers Newsletter!

* indicates required