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 01, 2009

Slow and Windy Day

Today was one of the strangest days I've had on the river in awhile. I can't really complain since it was 60 degrees out and its only February 1. Maybe that was part of the problem. Based on what I saw today, I'm getting close to predicting that this is the year that the Caney finally succumbs to the heavy fishing pressure. There were altogether too many people fishing and it was really quite ridiculous. Miraculously I managed to find plenty of space throughout the day. If things continue this bad, I'll probably be fishing other places once the weather warms. Or maybe I'll have to spend more time exploring the lower river. Whatever I do, I don't think I'll be able to spend much more time in the crowds on the upper river.

Back to the river being a bit strange today, the fish seemed to have a case of lockjaw until you started stripping or swinging the flies. Even then they seemed to hit at very random times. Early in the day, I got into several fish in quick succession on a stripper midge with a gold bead but after that, I had to work for each fish. Considering all of the high water that we have had lately, it may be that the fish are still adjusting to the ever-changing flow schedule. Still, it would be nice to at least see a few better fish... Since no one has been able to fish the river very thoroughly for awhile, I don't believe that all the fish have been taken out so I'll give it a few weeks before getting too concerned. Then again, several stringers of nice fish were leaving the river today and too much of that will put a hurt on the rainbow population.


As a good fisherman, I'll choose to blame today's slow fishing on the weather conditions, the stream flow, and the lack of a really solid hatch. Of course, the whole day I felt like I should be able to catch fish a little more consistently so its probably time to head back to the vise and perfect a few more patterns...and next time, maybe I'll spend a little more time just watching and observing the water and the fish instead of insisting on fishing hard all day. A little observation can go a long way to solving slow fishing days...

2 comments:

  1. Hi David!

    Thought I might see you on the HI yesterday?>?>
    Anywho, I hooked my first fish ever on some of Kelly Galloup's gear (white circus peanut)---thought I would "hawg hunt" in 2009... Hope we can get together some time!
    best ones!
    Hope you are doing well!
    dan in knoxville

    ReplyDelete
  2. Daniel,

    Good to hear from you. I probably won't be on the HI as much this spring because I graduated and am now back in Crossville. I'll head down that way at some point though. If you decide to come fish the Caney some Sunday, let me know...If you want to throw streamers, the Caney should be great for that in another 2-4 weeks if we get the normal shad kill...

    ReplyDelete

Newsletter

Subscribe to the Trout Zone Anglers Newsletter!

* indicates required