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, September 05, 2008

Late Caney Report

Student teaching is keeping me fairly busy. Probably the hardest part is getting up at what to me seems an unearthly hour. I was quite spoiled this summer while working at Little River Outfitters. Since the store didn't open until 9:00 each morning, I didn't have to get up until the sun was clearing the ridge above the cabin I was staying at. Now I'm up well before first light which leaves me tired in the evenings when I should be spending time tying...priorities you know... Anyway, the one good thing about this new schedule is that we actually get holidays off. The prospect of a long weekend sent me home as soon as I could get away last Friday with visions of Caney Fork monsters in my head.

Unfortunately this trip wouldn't turn out to produce another 20 inch plus trout. Still, I can't really complain about a day where I easily lost count of the number of fish brought to hand. The browns and brookies are really starting to color up nicely as we approach fall.




A highlight of the day was spending a bit of time instructing a young man that is fairly new to fly fishing. My buddy had the idea of inviting him along and helping out a bit. Late in the day he had caught several fish including rainbows and brookies but was still looking for that brown to complete the Caney Fork slam.

We were all lined up working a section of bank that sometimes holds large fish. I moved down and told him that we would finish the slam. After just a little instruction he was putting the cast precisely where I asked him to, and within 5 minutes or less we were admiring the third member of his slam for the day. Catching fish is a lot of fun, but helping other people catch fish can often be just as much fun if not more.

The fishing was a little strange last Sunday but not too unusually for a hot late summer day. When we arrived at the river we immediately were into fish. As the sun climbed higher in the sky the fish sought refuge in deeper water right on the bottom. Later on as the sun crept closer to the western horizon, the fish started feeding again. By approximately one hour from sunset, the fishing was just silly. I experimented with several rigs over the course of the day but the old faithful of a dry and Zebra Midge dropper proved to be best. The river continues to be a zoo on the weekends and I really don't recommend fishing it except midweek until the weather cools off a bit. My next fishing target date for the Caney is early October but we'll see if I can actually wait that long. Until then I'll be checking out some wild streams in East Tennessee.

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