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

Friday, August 14, 2009

First Striped Bass

If you read my blog throughout 2008, then you are aware that I spent a fair amount of time chasing various warm water species. A lot of that time was spent below Chickamauga Dam on the Tennessee River searching for striped bass or whatever else would hit. I always had to settle for the "whatever else would hit," and while it was great adding several new species to the list of fish caught, I really wanted to get that striper.

Recently I had a buddy call me up and tell me that he had caught his first and that I should try it out. At first I hated the thought of making the drive from Crossville, but subsequent stories of nice fish and a few pictures to back them up convinced me that I had to try. Earlier this week I headed out in the late afternoon for an evening of fun, fishing, and hopefully my first striped bass. The drive went by fairly quickly in my excitement.

I rolled up to the river just ahead of my buddy and started rigging up as I waited for him. When he got there, he took me down to the water and showed me the good spots. We started to see the occasional boil that told us something was chasing baitfish. I couldn't wait any longer and started casting.

After what seemed like only a few minutes but was probably more like 20 or 30, I felt a hard bump and set the hook with authority. Immediately I knew that whatever I was attached to was much stronger than 99% of all other fish I've ever hooked. I was fishing my 7 weight, and the fish was still very much in control of the situation. Minutes later I finally saw the fish and realized that my long search for a striper was over.


Throughout the evening, we both caught and released several stripers along with some hybrids and yellow bass. I had an absolute blast and will be back soon for more...before I do though I will be tying up a few more flies. One turned out to be killer, but naturally I only had one. This was the perfect fishing trip to break in the 7 weight. We never caught any big fish as far as stripers go but even the 5-8 pound fish wore me out. I can't imagine what the 20 and 30 pound fish would feel like...

Here's a few more from the evening including my largest that hit just before we decided to call it a night...

One of Trevor's fish...check out how fat the fish is...


My largest fish...


4 comments:

  1. Hey David. Out West, our Striper run was short. We're waiting for the Steelhead next month. You caught a couple of nice ones. Way to go.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous4:09 PM

    That looks like a lot of fun!

    David P.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey David - In in a similar situation - I normally target trout on the Clinch and the Hiwassee. Here lately I've been trying to hook up a striper on the lower Hiwassee - I've heard they are lot's of fun on a fly rod.

    So far I'm catching respectable smallmouth bass on flashy streamers.

    Any chance you'll post a photo of the fly that was working for you?

    Nice Fish!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I can put up a picture of the fly I've been catching them on but honestly most people would not look at it as a "striper" fly. Basically, I would try to match whatever bait fish are present. On the HI, I would throw big rainbow trout streamers...and I do mean BIG. Anyway, I'll try to get a picture up sometime soon...

    ReplyDelete

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