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

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.



Subscribe to the Trout Zone Anglers Newsletter!

* indicates required