Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 08/16/2019

Fishing has slowed down in some places and heated up in others. Smallmouth bass fishing on the streams of the Cumberland Plateau has been good to excellent while the tailwaters have slowed down somewhat.

In the Smokies, streams are getting low and warm. Stick with mid and high elevation streams for now until we get some rain and cooler weather. Right now it looks like this will probably last until the end of the month although we do have some rain forecast next week. Let's hope that happens! A variety of bugs are working here, but lean heavily on your terrestrial box.

The Caney Fork in particular has been tough the last few days. A combination of factors has been hard on the river including striped bass which eat a tremendous number of trout. Overall fishing pressure has also contributed to tough fishing. Those fish have become educated!!! Think small on your midges and you should at least find a few trout.

The Clinch seems to be in the middle of the annual late summer drawdown of Norris Lake. High water will be the norm here for the next few weeks. If you don't have a boat, then don't bother.

Fall fishing is not far off. The Clinch should fish well unless we have a wet fall. Sometime between mid October and early November, we should see flows start to come down. The Smokies are my personal favorite for fall fishing. The fish will be hungry and maybe even looking up!

Photo of the Month: Guide Trip Fish of the Year? Maybe...

Photo of the Month: Guide Trip Fish of the Year? Maybe...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Is Spring Here Yet?


Apparently the fish think so. Going fishing on Friday the 13th seems like an invitation for all kinds of bad luck. Expensive rods breaking, monster trout throwing the fly, falling into the ice-cold water of mid February...all these are a distinct possibility when you go fishing on a day traditionally said to bring bad luck. However, my fishing trip yesterday would have made even a cynic believe that there really is no such thing as bad luck.

Early in the trip I started wondering if it was a bad choice to fish on such a day. Little River with it's shot at larger browns was calling to me and I started off fishing somewhere between Metcalf Bottoms and Elkmont. After working slowly up a 2oo yard stretch of water with only one missed strike to show for my efforts, I decided to move to a different stretch of water. Again things were slow, although in all honesty it was a very technical stretch. The one fish that I managed to feed picked a most opportune time to eat because my line was tangled around some streamside structure and the hookset failed miserably.

After taking a few moments to ponder the fishing thus far, I decided to move to a more intimate setting. Tremont was the perfect size for the type of fishing I wanted and upon arrival, I decided to go against conventional wisdom and fish a dry. Earlier in the day I had seen plenty of midges and little black stoneflies along with a few small black caddis and early brown stoneflies so a generic #16 parachute Adams seemed appropriate.

I moved down to the water and left my thermometer on the stream bottom while I made the first few casts. Picking a slow eddy in a nice deep pocket, I delicately placed my fly in position to dance tantalizingly in the current, spinning lazily around and around. After what seemed like an eternity, I saw a dark form materialize from the depths and lazily inhale the fly. Without thinking I firmly set the hook and was soon admiring the first rainbow of the day. Wondering if it was a fluke, I checked the stream temperature (43.5 degrees Fahrenheit) and quickly moved up to the next likely pocket. This time I missed a strike. In increasing surprise and excitement I moved up to yet another spot and this time caught another trout. In the next hour, I caught a total of 8 rainbows on dry flies proving that fish still have to eat even at cold water temperatures.


Later on, after moving to another section it was time to try some nymphs. The fish still fed happily on the Tellico and Brassie I was offering although they didn't hit the fly as hard as they would have if it was warmer out. By the end of the day, I had caught 15 fish which goes to show that there are still fish to catch even in the cold months.


One of the amusing things about the fishing trip was the size of the fish. I caught 4-5 fish that were in the 3 inch range. For some reason, at least on this stretch of water, all the smaller fish were out feeding. Maybe they just haven't figured out how to be lazy and conserve energy. I'm really glad I decided to fish the Smokies because it was a great change of pace from the extremely crowded Caney Fork that I've been experiencing lately. While I enjoy catching large fish, it was just as rewarding to be out catching 3-7 inch rainbows as it has been to fish the Caney lately. That said, I'm still excited to get out on the river tomorrow and hopefully will have some good stories by tomorrow evening!
Of course, spring isn't really here yet but I'm excited about the approach of the warmer months with their important hatches bringing up some nice fish to dry flies. I'm in the early planning stages of some great trips for the upcoming spring including some backpacking trips to prime water in the Smokies... As always, stay tuned for more info...

2 comments:

  1. I'm very ready for Spring to get here soon!

    Troutdawg
    Flyfishaddiction

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love fly fishing in the spring.

    ReplyDelete

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