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

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Smokies Camping Trip


Each fall I try to make at least one camping trip somewhere in the mountains. Here in Tennessee that means I almost always head for the Smokies. The year I was in Arizona gave me the opportunity to visit the White Mountains where you can fish with a backdrop of golden aspen while listening to the elk bugling in the distance. No matter where I am though, the theme of visiting mountains stays the same. This year I made the trip to the Smokies for my annual trip.

The plan was to camp out Smokemont Campground which I had never stayed at before. Now that I've been there, I have to admit that I like Elkmont better but that might just be because the Little River watershed is really my home waters. The North Carolina side of the park has plenty of great water to fish including one of my park favorites, Deep Creek. Other than Little River, Deep Creek would have to be my favorite for several reasons including the excellent population of brown trout and also it receives less pressure than Little River once you get into the backcountry.

While camping at Smokemont, I enjoyed fishing Deep Creek, a small blueline that will remain nameless, and Straight Fork. The fishing at Deep Creek was a bit more crowded than usual which was surprising but I still managed to catch a nice little brown to go along with some small rainbows. While over there we also took in some of the area scenery including the Indian Creek falls.

On Saturday, we decided to do some hiking to enjoy the great fall colors. We also wanted a hike with a view so that meant a trip up to the top of the ridge where we decided to hike to Andrews Bald. I have been wanting to hike to one of the balds for some time now. This was the first time that I've visited one and the scenery was fantastic.



Straight Fork was a blast to fish. I've always enjoyed fishing it and am always surprised at how well it fishes despite the easy roadside access for several miles. By this time the rest of our group had left to head back to Chattanooga so I enjoyed a couple of hours of solo fishing. The fish rose steadily to my October Caddis pattern which I tied on after seeing some giant caddis flying around. I even managed a couple rainbows that were larger than the normal park average by a couple of inches.




Overall it was a great camping trip with the main downside being the low water that is still affecting our area. On the bright side, the continued drought has kept generation on the tailwaters to a minimum meaning that fishing opportunities there are maximized. Tomorrow I'm going to take advantage of that and go looking for some more monsters somewhere. Next weekend I'm starting to think about another trip for monster fish so stay tuned for more...

4 comments:

  1. Great report, and nice pics as usual. I have been wanting to try that hike for awhile now.

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  2. im just glad the berries worked out for us

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  3. Anonymous11:11 PM

    Isn't Straight Fork a great stream? We've spent a lot of time around (and upstream of) that bridge.

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  4. Anonymous3:16 AM

    Wow.... fishing, I just love it. I found Bass Pro Shops to be a lovely store for buying fishing & camping gears.

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