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

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Onward to the Gunnison


Colorado 2009 was really about catching big fish on big bugs. My buddy Trevor and I were hoping to hit the Salmonfly hatch on the Gunnison River and also fish the Cicada hatch on the Green. The weather conspired against us to cause some trouble in reaching our goals but not entirely. We got tired of the cold and wet weather that seemed to be the norm on the Taylor and decided to head west in search of clearer skies.

Last year was a banner year on the Gunnison with lots of good fish caught and some monsters hooked and lost. We were hoping for a repeat performance as we rolled into the Black Canyon at East Portal. There is a pleasant campground there that we really like staying at. The main problem with the campground are the hordes of mice that will find their way just about anywhere, including into your car, in search of food. Despite the mice, we were excited to get started so as soon as we arrived, the fly rods came out and we headed down to the river.

The biggest difference between this year and last was the water level. Last year the river was at around 1000 cfs and quite easy to fish. This year, an unusually wet June had the Bureau of Reclamation constantly altering releases from the dams across the Rocky Mountain states, and the Gunnison was no exception. When we arrived, Crystal Dam was releasing over 3000 cfs and the difference was definitely obvious. The water was much cooler so the fish were not as active. We fished for a good 20 or 30 minutes before I finally hooked up on a red midge larva. A nice chunky brown finally came to the net, and my buddy Trevor took a picture of the first Gunnison River trout of the trip. We moved slowly down the river and got into a few more fish. The fishing was not on fire, but it was not terrible either. All of the fish were in great shape and athletic, ripping line at will.


After catching several fish each we finally decided to call it an evening. Our hopes were high for the next day and we went to bed thinking about swarms of bird-sized insects and fish crashing the surface for the huge morsels...


1 comment:

  1. See thats enough to put me off the cold weather, but wow that one that you got there, is just stunning what coloring it has.

    ReplyDelete

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