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

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Gunnison Trout Part II

The Gunnison River was very good to my buddy Trevor and I on our most recent trip out west. Recall that day one involved figuring out the hot pattern and lots of good brown trout. Day two started out with a trip down to the river. While at the Gunnison, it was a guarantee that I'd be down at the river fishing at every opportunity. Great fishing will do that to me...everything else becomes unimportant including heading back to camp for the occasional snack or water break.

The real draw here was the constant possibility of a monster fish. By some point on the second morning, I had already stuck 3 fish that were easily over 20 inches and at least one of those would have cleared 24 inches. The most frustrating of these was one that towed me all over the river before throwing the hook. The other two fights were much more brief but still disappointing. During the afternoon and evening of the second day we headed back out to water. A quick trip to the fly shop in town had added to the supply and diversity of materials for the hot pattern. One hour after returning to camp I was armed with 20 new midge patterns tied up in a variety of colors to match the prevailing bugs on the water.

It took awhile to get going again and strangely the first fish took a bright orange scud. I had been creeping ever so slowly down the bank when I looked down. Nearly at my feet was a nice rainbow facing downstream into a small back eddy up against the bank. After gently backing up so the cast wouldn't spook the fish, I made a couple casts. The fourth cast was perfect but I was surprised to see the fish move towards the scud instead of my new magical midge pattern. Arguing with a fish that wants to eat your fly is useless so I set the hook and quickly played the fish to the net for a quick picture. Later on it would take much longer to land my best rainbow of the day.


I had been nymphing in my favorite run in the East Portal vicinity when the indicator dove under. Gently lifting the rod brought an explosion from the depths as the big rainbow took the the air. After gaining a bit of control I figured the fight might not be too bad. These hopes were soon dashed as the brute tore out into the main current with another spectacular leap. I gave chase and soon found myself a around 200 feet downstream from where I originally hooked the fish. With a huge midstream boulder blocking downstream progress if the fish went on the far side of it, I decided to make my stand regardless of what happened. Thankfully all the knots held and I soon released a gorgeous 19 inch Gunnison rainbow.


As evening approached we returned to the best two runs on the river and continued to slay the fish. The strange part about day two was that the frequency at which we caught brown trout was plummeting while the percentage of rainbows was up sharply. This would be the pattern for the rest of the trip. We still caught browns on the Gunny but the majority of the fish were rainbows after the first day. As darkness fell, we stumbled wearily back to camp, exhausted from catching fish in the hot canyon all afternoon. Oh what a tough life...


2 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:32 PM

    Beautiful coloration in those bows. Did they all look like that?

    ReplyDelete
  2. dog, those 'bows are among the most colorful I have seen anywhere, hands down. There are several tailwaters in Colorado that have extremely colorful rainbows and the Gunnison is one of the best of the best. All but the smallest of fish have that brilliant pink stripe down their side...

    ReplyDelete

Newsletter

Subscribe to the Trout Zone Anglers Newsletter!

* indicates required