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, January 05, 2009

More Drought Bustin' Rain

Just when the Caney has had a few very short windows without generation, it looks like we will be getting a lot more rain. If the current forecast holds true (does it ever though?), the Caney could be generating until February. Of course I can't be complaining because all the rain does have a silver lining. First, the fish in the river will be relatively untouched as long as the generation remains heavy. In other words, when they finally quit generating for awhile, head for the river as soon as possible. Second, it looks like we are just about out of the drought conditions so bring on the rain!

Below are two versions of the U.S. Drought Monitor. The first is the one issued on September 2, 2008 and the second is the last one for 2008 from December 30. Compare the area affected by drought in the southeast and the severity of the drought in the two pictures. Clearly things are looking better...just don't get too excited about fishing tailwaters anytime soon...




Currently the National Weather Service in Nashville has issued a Flood Watch for a large portion of middle Tennessee. The portion of the Watch that caught my eye said the following:


RUNOFF FROM THIS RAINFALL COULD POSSIBLY LEAD TO FLOODING OF AREA CREEKS AND STREAMS ON TUESDAY...WITH FLOODING OF LARGER RIVERS BY TUESDAY NIGHT. THIS INCLUDES RIVERS AND TRIBUTARIES IN THE DUCK...ELK...BUFFALO...STONES...CANEY FORK...AND HARPETH RIVER BASINS...AND OTHERS THAT DRAIN INTO THE CUMBERLAND AND TENNESSEE RIVERS.

Yep, they called out the Caney by name so I'm guessing that there isn't much hope to fish it any time soon... This might be the winter of Smoky Mountain trout fishing...

5 comments:

  1. I'm with you...Us fly fisherman need some water to fish in. I'm glad this storm system is going to help out. Mets say 1-2 inches locally 3 in a few spots in the mountains. I say put the pair of Simms on and go fishing.

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  2. Bring on the rain. Another good thing about pulling water for a long time is that once you do get to the water, the fish seem to be that much stronger....Of course it may just be perception.

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  3. Travis, I agree about the fish seeming stronger after the flows have been up for awhile. I've had more 16-18 inch rainbows take me to the cleaners on the Caney after they have run for a few months for sure...talk about pulling like a freight train!!!

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  4. Man, Nevada doesn't look to have changed very much... ah well maybe we'll get an uber snow year.

    Can't wait to come catch fish in the Smokies... someday.

    Love coming here knowing you'll have posted something interesting! Keep up the awesome blog-work!

    God Bless

    --Brian J.

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  5. Brian, thanks for the kind words. I'm glad you stop by and check out my blog...

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