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

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. Anonymous10:34 PM

    great story

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous10:35 PM

    I have been on many long floats.

    ReplyDelete
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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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