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 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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