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

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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