Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 12/3/2019

Winter fishing is nearly upon us. Snow yesterday has given way to falling water temperatures in the Smokies. In general, fish will be hunkered down, although by tomorrow they should start to get more active again as temperatures warm. For the next three months, expect many more fish in the slower places in the Park. Think nymphs and maybe streamers but don't be surprised to find fish rising to blue-winged olives or midges on some days.

On tailwaters like the Clinch, brown trout and some fall spawn rainbows are doing their thing. This is a good time to review good ethics when it comes to spawning trout. Remember that these are the next generation of trout and the best thing you can do is to leave them alone. Avoid wading through spawning areas and don't fish for obvious spawners. For the foreseeable future, we should have high water thanks to big rains this last weekend. Fishing out of the drift boat will be very good through the winter with both nymphing and streamer fishing a distinct possibility. Want to swing for the fences and go for just one monster? Streamers will just get better and better going into January and February.

The Caney is slowly coming around. A few shad are coming through the dam, but lingering water quality problems are limiting the fishing. Winter streamer floats will produce shots at larger brown trout for anglers willing to work hard. Next spring should bring good fishing again.

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: Big Fish Chuck Strikes Again

Photo of the Month: Big Fish Chuck Strikes Again

Sunday, September 21, 2008

School Is Now In Session


Student teaching has been going well so far with my one complaint involving how ridiculously early schools start these days. Despite enjoying being in the classroom, I still enjoy my weekends and would not want to spend them at school. The exception to this is when I decide to school some fish.

This weekend was a blur of driving, visiting friends and family, cutting down a couple trees, and just when I thought that was enough, I decided that I better throw in some fishing. Spending the weekend at Nashville has advantages and disadvantages. The main disadvantage being that it is a bit farther then I really like to drive on a weekend but that mainly stems from pure laziness. The most obvious advantage is that I can swing by the Caney Fork on the way back to Chattanooga and only be going slightly out of my way.

I arrived on the stream somewhere around 2:00 pm Central time and quickly got into some brookies. Quickly growing tired of these easy targets, I decided to take the game into some technical slow moving water where nice browns like to sit and feed just above the lush weedbeds. My Legend Ultra 7'6" 3 weight was the perfect tool for stalking these wary fish, and in the end they proved to be no match for the deadly zebra midge. I caught several nice browns to about 15" or 16". Strangely all were females and as fat as they were, I strongly suspect they are full of eggs or at least getting there as the spawn is most likely just around the corner.


Several of the fish buried themselves in the thick weeds on the bottom of the river and it was only through a lot of effort that I wrestled them back up and to the surface. As a side note, I am extremely impressed with Rio Fluoroflex Plus tippet material. It is cheaper than the Seaguar Grand Max that I like so much and is also exceptionally strong. I didn't lose a single fish today and I believe that a lot of that is because of the quality of the tippet.


Days like this are fun, because for every day where I catch plenty, there are lots of other days where I work hard for just a handful of fish at best. Eventually all good things must come to an end. I had to hit the road on towards Chattanooga, but it had been a great day! Next weekend may include some more adventures. This time of year I really like to go camping so I may try to do that. Of course, some fishing is a given and it will most likely be an east Tennessee freestone stream in the mountains...

2 comments:

  1. Wow, nice view of the belly in that second shot. Getting me pumped about what is just around the corner. I am taking my son to the mountains this weekend for his first visit and some photos, maybe I will see you up there.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Travis, I've been dying to get back up there. I can't believe I've waited so long. If I don't make it to the park, I'll probably at least try to make it as far as Tellico... Hope you have an enjoyable trip this weekend and maybe I'll run into you somewhere...

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