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

Friday, March 27, 2009

Things Are Picking Up

The local ponds are finally starting to fish. The recent warm rains have brought up the water levels again which means that fish are often up in the brush around the banks. Additionally, the rising water temperatures has been great for the fishing.

Yesterday I headed over to a pond near my home to see what was happening. It has been many years since I fished this pond and never with the long rod. My first efforts were for naught but I downsized to a smaller fly and trailed a little bead head pheasant tail nymph behind for a deadly combo. This proved to be the ticket and I soon had a fish! Panfish are great since they are so plentiful and willing to eat flies.


I wasn't planning on spending more than about half an hour at the pond as this was more a scouting trip so I started heading back towards the car. Right before I reeled all the line in, I decided to fish up tight to a brush pile and a nice crappie nailed the fly.


No bass were caught but there is still plenty of time to figure them out. I might try to sneak away again this afternoon if it quits raining long enough. The weather is perfect for fishing and maybe I'll find a good one cruising the shallows...

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