Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 01/08/2020

Unusually warm and wet conditions continue to prevail here in middle and east Tennessee. This upcoming weekend is looking like more rain and possibly even severe weather. The wind forecast is bad enough that I wouldn't bother going fishing until Sunday at the earliest unless you can go tomorrow.

In the Smokies, nymphing will be the name of the game, but don't be surprised to see some blue-winged olives from time to time. With all the high water, think streamers, big stoneflies, or worm imitations.

Tailwaters like the Caney Fork and Clinch are still rolling with a lot of water. Both rivers are over 10,000 cfs. While this is still fishable, I don't really recommend it. Flows this high are generally all about swinging for the fences if you feel like hunting a trophy. Many days it won't happen. Once in a while it will. Throw big streamers, hope for a shad kill, and get out there. Those big fish won't get caught if you're sitting home on the couch.

The Caney will produce decent fishing if we ever get flows back down at least a little. One generator would be ideal. Right now I'll even take two. Minimum flow looks a long ways off right now.

On the Clinch, you can throw streamers and also possible nymph up a few fish. If you pick your spots, there are places to nymph even on 12,000 cfs. Let's hope it gets back down to two generators or less soon. Every time we get a big rain event, look for some low water for a day or two or three. TVA will hold water back at tributary dams like Norris to reduce downstream high water effects. This gives those of us who like to wade a day or two to fish.

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: Starting the Year Off Right

Photo of the Month: Starting the Year Off Right

Friday, January 02, 2009

First Trip of the Year

The first trip of 2009 is now complete. Originally I had planned to try and make it to the South Holston River yet again but today it didn't work out. Fate conspired against me and in the end I headed over to the local state park to try for the recently stocked trout. Overcast skies promised a decent opportunity to catch some fish.

When I arrived at the lake, I took my time rigging up. My old leader was badly in need of a replacement so I got out a new one to start 2009. One of my favorite flies for catching stocked trout in stillwaters is the Simi Seal Leech. I tied on a beadhead version in black and red and wandered down towards the water.

Normally there is a good bit of surface activity on this particular lake but today it was dead. Below the lake is a creek that provides a change of pace and I decided to start there. After 15 minutes of beating the water I begin to suspect that maybe none of the fish had come over the dam. Just when I really was ready to try another spot I got a hard bump. Refocusing, I enjoyed the swish of the line through the guides while shooting line to put my fly on the other side of the creek.

After several casts and a few more bumps I began to get tired of continually missing fish. A deep spot downstream caught my eye and I moved towards a logjam that had a bunch of foam piled in front. My first cast produced an explosive strike which made me wonder if there were larger than normal fish in here. After several more casts I finally hooked up with a trout that had an attitude. Guiding it in close to the bank, I soon released the first fish of 2009!


Four fish later, I called it a day, glad to have enjoyed a couple of hours on the water. The Simi Seal Leech accounted for all 5 fish and most took it hard in a convincing manner. While not the South Holston, it was a pleasant alternative to the three hour drive. There's always another time for large fish. The Caney is starting to provide a few opportunities for wading if you pick your time carefully. Of course I'll be floating it and throwing streamers sometime soon as well. The next few months provide some outstanding fishing for those willing to brave the cold...

1 comment:

  1. hey want to say thanks for the great pictures and columns! glad i was able to find your blog. kept me intertained, and also thinking about fat eastern tail water browns! cant wait to get out there. also i most definetly am using those feathers plus some elk hair from my dads hunt this year. i got a lifes suply of hair! great for caddis and stimulaters. keep doing a good job! i realy enjoy having some thing to read weekly.

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