Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 01/08/2020

Unusually warm and wet conditions continue to prevail here in middle and east Tennessee. This upcoming weekend is looking like more rain and possibly even severe weather. The wind forecast is bad enough that I wouldn't bother going fishing until Sunday at the earliest unless you can go tomorrow.

In the Smokies, nymphing will be the name of the game, but don't be surprised to see some blue-winged olives from time to time. With all the high water, think streamers, big stoneflies, or worm imitations.

Tailwaters like the Caney Fork and Clinch are still rolling with a lot of water. Both rivers are over 10,000 cfs. While this is still fishable, I don't really recommend it. Flows this high are generally all about swinging for the fences if you feel like hunting a trophy. Many days it won't happen. Once in a while it will. Throw big streamers, hope for a shad kill, and get out there. Those big fish won't get caught if you're sitting home on the couch.

The Caney will produce decent fishing if we ever get flows back down at least a little. One generator would be ideal. Right now I'll even take two. Minimum flow looks a long ways off right now.

On the Clinch, you can throw streamers and also possible nymph up a few fish. If you pick your spots, there are places to nymph even on 12,000 cfs. Let's hope it gets back down to two generators or less soon. Every time we get a big rain event, look for some low water for a day or two or three. TVA will hold water back at tributary dams like Norris to reduce downstream high water effects. This gives those of us who like to wade a day or two to fish.

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: Starting the Year Off Right

Photo of the Month: Starting the Year Off Right

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

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