Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 02/25/2018

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

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Rising Water

High water has been the theme lately, both on tailwaters and on the freestone streams of East Tennessee. I had been planning to fish the Smokies this past weekend for awhile now. High water just meant a better chance for large fish.

Friday was perfect for throwing big stuff on Little River. After stopping at Little River Outfitters, I drove on up the river. The water was up to around 1800 cfs when I started and continued to rise throughout the day. Eventually it peaked at somewhere around 2500 cfs.

Finally I found the pool that I wanted to start on. After rigging up, I thoroughly fished the first pool without glimpsing any fish. That is never a good way to start, but I moved on to the next pool with high hopes.

Things improved but not immediately. I worked the pool slowly and methodically and finally had a brown come out and slam my offering. Thankfully the fish found the hook, and I was soon admiring my first fish of the day. The brown was pretty but not very large. Still, a fish is a fish, and I wasn't about to complain.


The rest of the day brought a lot of hope but each time I was disappointed. Several fish came out to play but each one just couldn't seem to find the hook. Visiting the Park is probably just about my favorite thing to do though so I had an enjoyable day. Fishing in high water is always sketchy. Catching one fish is always better than catching no fish. Next time I hope to fish during normal flows. Sight fishing is the way to go but almost impossible during high water. Of course, in a month or so we'll be fishing the spring hatches.

Those of you that are looking forward to the hatches just remember that there are bugs hatching now. Everyone is excited to fish the "big" hatches in the spring but there are plenty of bugs hatching now. You just have to spend a little more time finding the hatch. Midges, various dark stoneflies, and even a few blue quills and blue-winged olives are hatching.

Don't let bad weather or high water keep you from fishing. The fish are still there and still hungry...

5 comments:

  1. Anonymous8:13 PM

    The invincible fisher!!! LOL that's pretty cool Mr. Knapp... keep having that positive attitude, even when it comes to working :P

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the encouragement...I'll definitely try! :D

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  3. Middle TN Lee12:32 AM

    Anyday in the Smokies is a good day...especially when you catch fish ha. I live in the Mboro area so all this high water has kept me from fishing for a while now so I'm glad to see you got out.

    ReplyDelete
  4. David,
    First, I wanted to say how much I've enjoyed your blog. It really is such good quality writing and the photography is extremely beautiful. This post brings up a topic I have been struggling with this winter. We had a ridiculous amount of rain about a month ago and the creeks here in AZ are still swollen. What flies or tactics do you use when the water level rises and the water clouds up. Thanks for your help...

    Ben

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ben,

    Browns will still eat nymphs fished in the normal way... Big nymphs are better if the water you are fishing has stoneflies present. Dead drifting streamers that resemble crawdads or sculpins can be productive as well. If the water isn't too cold, I like to use streamers that make a big commotion...Zoo Cougars come to mind...

    ReplyDelete

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