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

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sight Fishing


Late day on the Caney...


Tiny flies, light tippet, sight fishing...this is about as much fun as you can have while fly fishing for trout in my opinion. Large flies with heavy tippet may produce explosive strikes but then it is just a tug of war. With light tippet and small flies you have to be gentle so as not to break off the fish, bend the hook or pop the hook free.

Joe's big brown...
The tailwaters have been providing some excellent opportunities for large fish lately and I've been on three separate tailwaters in the last three weeks or so. This past Sunday I fished with my buddy Joe Mcgroom of Little River Outfitters and my cousin Nathan Stanaway. Joe wanted to check out the Caney Fork River. My cousin just likes to catch fish so I've been teaching him the way of the long rod after he was forced to admit that it was superior to his beloved spinning rod. Impressively he has taken to it like a natural. This past Sunday he caught plenty of nice fish including the Caney slam of a rainbow, brown and brook trout.

Nice brown caught by Nathan

The best action lately has been on midges but other patterns are working as well including red copper johns. Sight fishing opportunities are good early in the day before the water comes up and again very late in the day once the water falls out.


Big male brown...(Nathan Stanaway photo)



Closeup of my big brown...(Nathan Stanaway photo)


The day was a success with Joe being ruined by a large tailwater brown. I warned him early in the day that it would be addicting. Even worse, fishing tailwaters tends to dull your mountain small stream skills. After catching a big male with an attitude, I'm sure Joe will be fishing the tailwaters with us again sometime soon...


The weather was frigid and we all finally gave up by mid afternoon. Not so much because we weren't catching fish as because it was really cold and we all had places to be. I'm sure I'll be fishing again soon, perhaps in the mountains and maybe on a tailwater. Check back for more on that... Finally, a few more pictures from recent fishing...






(Nathan Stanaway photo)

(Nathan Stanaway photo)

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