Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 01/01/2017

Happy New Years!!! Fishing is going to be tough for a few days. The cold snap has everything icing over except for the tailwaters. If you must fish, stay safe and be prepared for the possibility of getting wet. The streams of the Smokies are almost pointless to fish right now. That said, the forecast suggests there may be some opportunity to fish in the mountains and find a little success starting next Sunday. Temperatures above freezing are what we are looking for here. Not good odds, mind you, but certainly better than being in the deep freeze.

Tailwaters are a bit more reliable through the winter months. Streamer action should be anywhere from average to good depending on the day. On low water on rivers such as the Clinch, throw midges and you should find some fish. The Caney is still quite a ways away from seeing low water so it will be a streamer game almost exclusively.

Photo of the Month: Smoky Mountains Winter Brown Trout

Photo of the Month: Smoky Mountains Winter Brown Trout
©2017 Leah Shulley

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Christmas in the Smokies


My Christmas trip to the Smokies was a great experience with lots of good food, time with the family, and even a little fishing thrown in. The extended family rents a cabin every other year around Christmas so we can all spend a few days together without anyone having the pressure of playing host.

In years past, I took a day on each end of the trip to go to the South Holston since the tailwaters generally fish much better in the cold months than the freestone streams. Unfortunately, 2009 was the year that the drought finally broke and did it in a big way. All of our area reservoirs have been generating round the clock for weeks now and so I decided to just fish in the Park.

Christmas Eve day was our arrival day. The plan was to arrive early and have a few hours to fish before meeting up with the family. I got up there early but not as early as I intended. Still, I had plenty of time to hit the stream before I headed for the cabin and a hot supper.

I’ve been on a streamer kick lately. This is a type of fishing that I’ve only recently started to thoroughly learn. For many years I more or less ignored the potential productivity of streamer fishing, but lately I’ve been running low on new techniques to try. Most of the area waters are perfect for streamer fishing and especially the tailwaters. The mountain streams are a bit trickier though. The small size of the streams along with spooky fish makes it difficult to cast and then manipulate the fly properly to induce the hard strikes that make streamer fishing so much fun. My goal for the next few months is to work out a good system for fishing streamers on freestone streams known to hold larger fish.

The first two places I stopped and fished were disappointing to say the least. I never saw so much as a flash but wasn’t ready to give up without a bit more effort. Finally, at the third spot I tried I was rewarded with some active fish. I was working the far side of a nice pool when a fish came out and struck hard but failed to hook itself. A couple more casts to the same spot convinced me that the fish wasn’t going to show itself again so I moved down a bit further. The next likely piece of cover produced the same response as a fish darted out to attack my streamer. This time everything came together perfectly and I soon had a nice 10 inch brown in the net. Not the monster that I always hope for when fishing streamers but at least it was a fish. After a couple more brief stops, I realized that the hour was getting late. I wanted to get in before it got too late and headed towards the cabin.

The rest of my stay in the mountains was a blast but lacked much in the way of meaningful fishing. I fished for a little while each day I was up there but never had enough time to get off the beaten path. The biggest problem was high water that was comprised largely of snowmelt from the highest elevations. The fish were still feeding but I quickly realized that I needed heavier streamers to get down in the fast current. Next time I’ll be better prepared.

Even though the fishing was slow, I still managed to take a lot of pictures of the streams which are looking good with lots of water. The following are some of my favorites from the trip.

1 comment:

  1. lolz
    so ok at first i had no idea wat to do on your blog n i was thinkin on lik somethin smart to say but i was lik wat the heck i'll just write somethin i learned. b myself. mayb i should atleast write properly. Well then, the city girl that I am I obviously know nothing of fishing so when you started like mentioning tailwaters and streamer I was lost. So that's something I learned. I actually thought when you fish it doesn't matter what you use. I just saw the same equipment so I guess like you said the faster the stream the heavier the streamer or something. I didn't know the colder the weather the better. so ok now back to myself n my thoughts on this. hahaha so i thought it was hilarious that you went fishing first before seeing the family. i mean who does that. hilarious. you really do get all technical with fishing haha. yea well i guess thats your passion and thats really kool. =D

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