Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 08/16/2019

Fishing has slowed down in some places and heated up in others. Smallmouth bass fishing on the streams of the Cumberland Plateau has been good to excellent while the tailwaters have slowed down somewhat.

In the Smokies, streams are getting low and warm. Stick with mid and high elevation streams for now until we get some rain and cooler weather. Right now it looks like this will probably last until the end of the month although we do have some rain forecast next week. Let's hope that happens! A variety of bugs are working here, but lean heavily on your terrestrial box.

The Caney Fork in particular has been tough the last few days. A combination of factors has been hard on the river including striped bass which eat a tremendous number of trout. Overall fishing pressure has also contributed to tough fishing. Those fish have become educated!!! Think small on your midges and you should at least find a few trout.

The Clinch seems to be in the middle of the annual late summer drawdown of Norris Lake. High water will be the norm here for the next few weeks. If you don't have a boat, then don't bother.

Fall fishing is not far off. The Clinch should fish well unless we have a wet fall. Sometime between mid October and early November, we should see flows start to come down. The Smokies are my personal favorite for fall fishing. The fish will be hungry and maybe even looking up!

Photo of the Month: Guide Trip Fish of the Year? Maybe...

Photo of the Month: Guide Trip Fish of the Year? Maybe...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Slough Creek Cuttfest


Taking a Yellowstone trip close on the heels of another major fly fishing trip is a recipe for blogging disaster. I have enough material to start a couple more blogs, at least for a little while that is. I'll do my best to not keep you in suspense for too long. Just know that there are big fish to come...

Our first full day in Yellowstone country was supposed to be an easy day of catching cutthroat trout in an idyllic meadow stream. We hit the Slough Creek trailhead just ahead of an army of backpackers and hustled to stay ahead of them. During the initial climb over the ridge to the First Meadow, I came across a beautiful rack of elk antlers. My buddy Joe and cousin Nathan took a few pictures to document what I would look like as an elk. Deciding that antlers would be too heavy to carry around on one's head, I put them back and continued up the trail in search of the beautiful Yellowstone Cutthroat.


Our goal was the Second Meadow, but it was difficult to pass up the First Meadow. Our sights were set though and we pressed on. Finally we glimpsed water again through the trees and quickly veered off towards the stream. The hike in had made us hungry so we paused for lunch. As soon as he finished, Joe tied on a fly and started searching for that first fish. He caught the first and several more while Nathan and I watched. Finishing our own food, we both couldn't wait any longer and moved on up the stream looking for risers.

Coming up to a perfect bend pool, I saw a good fish rising against the far bank. This pool was one of the larger on the stream and I wasn't sure how my accuracy would be at that distance. The water was perfectly flat and I didn't want to spook what appeared to be a nice cutt. Stripping off plenty of line I started casting. Finishing off with a good double haul, I let the line shoot through the guides, and the fly plopped onto the water a few feet above the fish. The fish was anything but selective and inhaled my offering. Everything worked out perfectly from the hookset to controlling the last run just as I was about to net the fish. Finally I had the fish in the net and ready for a couple of quick pictures. Joe and Nathan both snapped a few for me, and then I released the healthy fish for someone else to enjoy.




We all moved on up the stream catching fish in just about any good looking spot. Later in the day we started sightfishing to the bank feeders and fooled a few good fish that way as well. Terrestrials accounted for most of our fish. I had been looking forward to a solid hatch but it wasn't meant to be. The bright sun kept the fish hunkered down and spooky for the better part of the day. Cutts are not known for their intelligence and this reputation came through as we all did well under what would be tough conditions on my home waters.


I should mention that it was Joe's birthday and he caught plenty of birthday fish...definitely not the worst way you could spend your birthday.

Nathan had a tough time that day because he forgot sunscreen. By the end of the day he was a crispy red and experiencing the chills that can accompany a good sunburn. He was a warrior though and caught his share of fish. Thankfully he started feeling better after resting for a couple hours back in camp.



We definitely had a great start to the trip but things would only get better. Fittingly the very last day of the trip was the most memorable for both my friend Joe and me. Unfortunately my cousin couldn't join us for the whole trip but his second day was unbelievable. In fact, my second day wasn't too bad either. Rumors of salmonflies on the Yellowstone had us planning on fishing there for day two. We were all tired after the long hike up Slough Creek and hit the sack with dreams of the mother of all salmonfly hatches...

4 comments:

  1. David,

    Man, Slough's looking good. Great report...Can't wait for the rest. Did you try any alpine lakes in and around the park?

    Tyler

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's an amazing set of antlers you found, much better than the one in AZ you found.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Tyler,

    The only laked we fished was Trout Lake. I'll share more about that in a day or two.

    Adam, we found several sets of antlers at least that large. Many of them were attached to the skull. Makes you wonder what happened....seems like an elk that large could defend itself against most predators. Too bad I couldn't take any of them home with me like the AZ one...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous6:36 AM

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