Guided Trips


Things have changed a lot since the last report. Unseasonably warm weather has kicked off the first hatches of the year in the Great Smoky Mountains while an extremely wet February means all of the tailwaters are blown out across middle and east Tennessee.

If you want to fish in the Smokies, nymphs and streamers will be your best bet unless you encounter a hatch. In that case, Blue Quills and Quill Gordons should be in your arsenal as well as Blue-winged Olives.

For now, just forget about the tailwaters in the short term. continued rain means it will be at least another month before the tailwaters are fishable again. With luck, we can start thinking about some streamer float trips on the Caney Fork in mid to late March, although that may be optimistic. In the meantime, head for the mountains and enjoy chasing the wild trout there.

Photo of the Month: Breaking Cabin Fever

Photo of the Month: Breaking Cabin Fever

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...


  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

  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...



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