Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 12/3/2019

Winter fishing is nearly upon us. Snow yesterday has given way to falling water temperatures in the Smokies. In general, fish will be hunkered down, although by tomorrow they should start to get more active again as temperatures warm. For the next three months, expect many more fish in the slower places in the Park. Think nymphs and maybe streamers but don't be surprised to find fish rising to blue-winged olives or midges on some days.

On tailwaters like the Clinch, brown trout and some fall spawn rainbows are doing their thing. This is a good time to review good ethics when it comes to spawning trout. Remember that these are the next generation of trout and the best thing you can do is to leave them alone. Avoid wading through spawning areas and don't fish for obvious spawners. For the foreseeable future, we should have high water thanks to big rains this last weekend. Fishing out of the drift boat will be very good through the winter with both nymphing and streamer fishing a distinct possibility. Want to swing for the fences and go for just one monster? Streamers will just get better and better going into January and February.

The Caney is slowly coming around. A few shad are coming through the dam, but lingering water quality problems are limiting the fishing. Winter streamer floats will produce shots at larger brown trout for anglers willing to work hard. Next spring should bring good fishing again.

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: Big Fish Chuck Strikes Again

Photo of the Month: Big Fish Chuck Strikes Again

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Long Float

Last week, my buddy David Perry (of Southeastern Fly) contacted me to see if I was interested in floating the Caney with him and another of his fishing buddies, Anthony. Being the addicted fly fisher I am the answer should be obvious. We agreed to meet early Sunday morning so we could put in a full day.

We met at the takeout so we could leave my car to do the shuttle later in the day. I was looking forward to the opportunity to really fish some streamers. After arriving at the boat ramp and getting started, it took us a little while to start moving fish but after a while we started boating a few. Moving slowly downriver, we took the time to work each section thoroughly although the bright blue sky overhead left us wondering if our efforts were somewhat futile. The forecast today called for cloudy skies with a slight chance of showers, perfect weather for catching some big fish. Early in the day it didn't look like the forecast was going to verify.

Just when I was wondering if it was time to switch over to nymphs and hope for the best, David Perry took his turn fishing while Anthony rowed and proceeded to stick a PIG. Now I know why people are paying him to take them fishing... After a long battle that had me thinking striper, the large brown finally showed itself and we all started getting excited. After some fancy rowing by Anthony and good work on the fly rod by David, we got the nice fish in the boat, got a quick measurement and snapped a couple of pictures. The nice brown measured out at close to 24 inches but if we hadn't of measured it I'd have said it was larger.


After making sure the fish was fine, we watched it rocket back to the deep water that was home. This was the high point of the day and even though we boated lots more nice fish, it was just hard to get excited about fish that were just 17-18 inches. The good part about the day was that I got to catch several fish on streamers and have caught the streamer bug bad now. I'm already planning on trying to float again in the next few weeks to do it again...


Another great part about the day was that I got some more experience behind the oars. Probably it would be in my best interest to feign ignorance when it comes to rowing drift boats but someday I hope to own one and its nice to learn on other people's boats in case disaster strikes.

Right now, I have a few upcoming goodies to share. First up, I have a brief product evaluation to share on the new Chota boots with rubber soles instead of felt. The preliminary verdict might surprise you...it sure surprised me... Daniel over at Little River Outfitters is ordering me a new Ghost net which should be interesting. Also, I'm working on getting some more trips together over the next month or two and it looks like it might include a backpacking trip right when things should be getting good in the Smokies. Stay tuned for more on that... Finally, more tailwater reports should be forthcoming and I have more techniques to share for fishing in the Smokies... All this if I can just find a little time when I'm not working...

5 comments:

  1. I have been on many long floats.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous9:27 AM

    NICE!!
    David, If you ever want to "split" a float trip I'm interested!
    For 2009 I have rigged with a full sink 6wt line and a double hand full of Galloup streamers. I'm hoping to finally get into some of the size fish you regularly catch :)
    best ones!
    old dan in knxvl

    ReplyDelete
  3. Todd, I haven't done very many floats and this was the longest yet. I found out what its like to be sore the next day from unaccustomed rowing...

    Daniel, Shoot me an email about that if you get a chance...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous11:12 AM

    David,

    You are sore? Come on it wasn't that long of a float ;^} I really enjoyed having you on the boat and was extremely impressed with that pinpoint backcast you have. (yes I notice that sort of thing). Look forward to doing it again and hopefully we can hit some of those Smoky's streams that we were discussing.

    David Perry

    ReplyDelete

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