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, January 23, 2009

2008 Year in Review: Just Gets Better


Currently I'm setting at 20 days without wetting a line and I'm really starting to have some withdrawals. Last weekend wasn't too bad since I did get to spend Sunday tying at Little River Outfitters which is probably the next best thing to going fishing. However, the lack of fishing is really starting to hurt so I felt like it was a good time to continue my 2008 Year in Review posts. As the early months gave way to the warmer weather of spring, the fishing just kept improving.


Early on, I focused largely on the Tennessee River, especially just below Chickamauga dam where the fishing was often exceptional for white bass and hybrids. As the weather warmed, the skipjack started running and provided a lot of fun on the fly rod. These fish are called Tennessee Tarpon for a reason and absolutely go crazy when hooked.




The other big moment below Chickamauga came when I caught my first ever double on the fly. Hopefully I'll do it with trout this year but until then, its hard to beat these two nice fish.


I also took several trips to the Smokies including a great one on April Fool's. It turned out that the fish were the foolish ones and I managed several beautiful wild rainbows.


In May, things went from good to great when I received a phone call from Little River Outfitters in Townsend inquiring whether I would be interested in working for them over the summer. I would have been crazy to say no and before I knew it I was busy at an awesome summer job (as long as I overlook Wapsi Hell that is). The best thing about this was that I could fish every evening in the Smokies if I wanted which I generally did.

Another big first occurred when I caught my first Caney Fork slam of a rainbow, brown, and brook trout. TWRA began stocking brookies on the Caney this past year and so far the results are promising. I'm willing to bet that we start seeing some 16-18" brook trout this next year. The Caney Fork has a lot of food available for the trout and the fish in that river grow very quickly. By fall of 2008 a few brookies were already pushing 13-14" so 2009 should be epic.




The big story in the Smokies that became apparent by early summer was that the ongoing drought had not given up yet. The streams were frighteningly low by June although we did see a few rounds of thunderstorms over the summer which helped a bit.

2 comments:

  1. Great stuff David...looks like you had a GREAT year in terms of fishing...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dave- Check out my blog and see my two trout/two fly picture. www.smokymountaintrout.blogspot.com

    I had a great year. Caught more trout than any other! I almost exclusively used a BHPT nymph under a Yellow Sally. Road Prong was terrific in the spring but later on in the summer I left it alone since there was no water.

    Jeff Wadley
    Maryville

    ReplyDelete

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