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

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Diverse Weekend

In addition to attending Troutfest, I also managed to get a little fishing in as well this past weekend. I caught a few trout, a few bass, some panfish, and my first carp...not a bad way to spend the weekend I have to say.

Saturday afternoon, I decided to do a little scouting around Catoosa WMA northeast of Crossville. Catoosa is a large wild area with plenty of untouched water to sample. The streams contain bass and panfish, and there are rumors of musky in the more remote sections. I wanted to check a favorite access point and possibly fish while I was there. Unfortunately, storms earlier in the day had Stream "A" high and muddy. No worries though as I drove a few miles to another stream.

When I arrived, I was pleased to find the water low and clear. While watching the water for some indication of active fish, I saw a smallie cruise past and vanish into a deep hole. I went back to the car and grabbed the 4 weight, rigging it with a small Crazy Charlie variation I tie. Back at the waters edge, I flipped the fly into some bankside structure before wading in and caught a few fish before even getting wet.


The sky was becoming more threatening and low rumbles of thunder told me that I was fighting against time at this point. After a couple more fish, the thunder was loud enough that I decided to call it a day. Twenty minutes of fishing and 5-6 fish is a nice relaxed way to enjoy the afternoon.


On the drive back out, I saw a turkey wandering around in the road. It spooked as I drove closer so I couldn't get a picture. The wildflowers were stunning, and at one point, I just had to stop and take a couple of pictures.


Saturday night I tied up a couple of Light Cahill parachute patterns. I was more or less out, and this, along with the Yellow Sallies, is the hatch to be fishing right now in the Smokies. Of course, there are lots of other bugs in the water right now as well so be prepared. My goal was to fish dries during the evening hatch after attending Troutfest.
Sunday morning I slept in later than I intended but eventually got on the road to Townsend. At Troutfest, I wandered around taking in the sights and got to talk to several old friends and meet some new ones. After I saw everything I wanted to, I headed over to Little River Outfitters to pick up some tying materials I was needing. My buddy Trevor was supposed to meet me there so we could go check out the bass action.

After he arrived and picked up the things he was needing from the shop, we went in search of some smallmouth bass. Unfortunately the fish were not very cooperative, but we both managed to catch a few. Rain eventually caught up with us again so I decided to head back to the mountains for the evening hatch. I stopped at the first pool I came to on Little River (yeah, not many options there so guess away...) and found fish rising steadily. The Light Cahill parachute accounted for a few smaller rainbows before I moved on to another location. The final pool of the evening yielded several rainbows including one that was probably 10 or 11 inches. When I couldn't see my fly well anymore, I knew I was approaching the limits of legal fishing hours and decided to head back towards Crossville.

I stopped at one of my striper spots hoping to find the big fish in feeding, but instead I found lots of carp. They were definitely as picky as any fish I've ever cast to although that could be simply because I have no clue when it comes to catching carp. Finally I got one to take a pheasant tail nymph and the battle was on. I couldn't believe how hard this fish pulled. Everytime I thought it was ready to give up, the fish would go on another hard run. Fishing alone, I was unable to get a picture but I still have the memory.

The carp was a strange end to a pleasant yet diverse weekend of fishing. I always enjoy catching a new species although I don't really keep a detailed list of all the fish I've caught. The main thing I learned this weekend was that there are some great places close to home that I need to be fishing more. More to come on that as I get out on the water...

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:22 AM

    I heard good things about Troutfest with all those big names there. Sounds like an exciting weekend. Congrats on your carp.

    Ben

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ben, thanks! The carp was definitely a blast for sure< and Troutfest wasn't bad either...

    ReplyDelete

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