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, May 03, 2009

Bluegills Galore

The rain does not want to stop but that's just fine as far as I'm concerned. Foul weather just seems to turn the fish on. The obvious downside is that our tailwaters will be generating for several more weeks, but I'm okay with that as well. After 2+ years of severe drought, too much rain is definitely preferred over not enough rain.

This afternoon I made a quick run over to the nearby lake I've been hitting more frequently lately. When I arrived, a gentle rain was breaking up the surface so it was hard to spot fish. I decided to try something different today. Instead of just carrying one rod I carried two, one for 'gills and one for bass. My four weight was rigged with two simple flies, a #10 white Wooly Bugger variation and trailing behind was a #16 purple Simi Seal Leech. The rain began to taper off and I started spotting a few fish in close to the bank. After varying the retrieve, I settled on fairly fast 6 inch strips and the fish were soon jumping all over my flies. Early on, the white fly was killer but as the afternoon wore on, the fish became increasingly keyed on the smaller leech pattern and wanted it fished slower.


I never landed any good bass although I did hook a couple on the little leech. A bass on a #16 hook and 6X tippet doesn't stay on long without a lot of luck and while mine was good, it wasn't that good. I had to be satisfied with a bunch of feisty bluegill which were actually a lot of fun since most of them were caught while sight fishing. One of the large specimens of the afternoon had been gorging on earthworms. When I landed the fish, it commenced spitting up worm after worm. I finally got it to stay still long enough to get a picture with a nice juicy worm dangling out of its mouth.


Now I know why worms worked so well back when I was a little kid with a cane poll and bobber. Apparently all the rain brought the worms out and they got washed into the lake where the fish were waiting for the feast.

As the rain came down harder, I started thinking about how nice it would be to go home and dry out. Finally I gave in and called it a day. Not a bad way to spend a few hours in the afternoon!

3 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great day fishing. Good photos.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dave,
    Your pictures are great especially the Spring Rainbow. I guess I am partial to trout.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've got to agree...I'm partial to trout as well. Wish there were more trout streams close to where I live...I'd probably never fish for anything else...

    ReplyDelete

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