Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 01/17/2019

Colder weather lately has slowed things down a touch in the Smokies. Thankfully, however, the streams haven't really dropped below 40 degrees so there are always some fish to be found. With a big rain event forecast for this weekend followed by sharply colder temperatures, get out and fish sooner rather than later. Nymphs or streamers are the name of the game this time of year.

On the tailwaters, we are dealing with massive amounts of water That said, while lots of rain this weekend may set us further back, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon. The overall trend over the next 1-3 months is for drier conditions which should allow flows to stabilize and at least allow us to get some float trips in.

Musky fishing has been decent as of late. Flows are generally just about perfect on our favorite musky rivers. With cold weather ahead, this is something we'll probably be doing more of...

Photo of the Month: Cold Weather Jaws

Photo of the Month: Cold Weather Jaws

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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