Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 4/23/2017

SPECIAL UPDATE: HIGH WATER EVERYWHERE!

The next couple of days will be tough just about anywhere you go. High water is the rule and heavy runoff has muddied lakes as well. Best to stay home and tie flies for at least the next day or two. Once the stream levels settle down, fishing in the Smokies should be good.

The fishing has been great lately! This spring has been phenomenal in the Smokies. Long hatches have produced dry fly fishing lasting for hours every day. The Caney Fork has been producing some great fish on high and low water.

In the Smokies, we have a high water day. That should soon give way to good flows and hatches as well. Evening hatches should really be going strong now at good flows. It is the time of year for yellow, cream and tan.

Unfortunately Center Hill Lake is filling rapidly and the USACE will be running a lot of water for a while to drop the lake back down. If you are interested in streamer floats, those will be able to happen into May this year. This is as good a time and method for getting into big fish as any. Once the lake level drops and flows go down, the fishing should be excellent on low water. We had some unreal trips on low water before all of this rain happened.

The musky and smallmouth bass rivers are totally blown out. If you are wanting to get in on this fishing, contact me about a float in May. Once conditions settle down, the fishing will be very good.


Photo of the Month: Shad Eating Rainbow

Photo of the Month: Shad Eating Rainbow

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Too Many Alligators!!

I first saw this video over on CNN. Apparently this guy was starting out on a fishing trip. I'm wondering if this would be a good solution to the crowds on some of our tailwaters...maybe just stock a couple of 'gators... Other than the water being too cold for them, this could be a brilliant solution to an overcrowding problem...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

No fishing...

...but on the bright side the sunset was really nice this evening!!! An isolated shower was moving slowly along to the southwest making for some nice photo opportunities. The colors playing through the clouds during the sunset were as nice as any I've seen yet this year...








Monday, July 19, 2010

Really???

Yesterday I tried out one of my striper spots with a couple of buddies. The fishing was slow to say the least. With nothing better to do I stuck with it until it was quite late. Finally, something hit like a freight train. After a relatively short fight, I had a small striper in for a couple of pictures. I'm still trying to figure out what I was thinking during the picture...probably something along the lines of, "Really??? I drove here for this little fish?" It must have been too late to be thinking clearly though because I always appreciate my time on the water regardless of the fish I catch...


Trevor Smart Photograph

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Caney Outing

Adam Littell Photograph


This has definitely not been the summer of nonstop fishing. Thankfully I have still managed to get out often enough to avoid suffering through withdrawals. My most recent trip was one that just kind of happened at the last minute, and what a trip it was!

One of my best friends was in the area for a couple of weeks prior to his upcoming wedding. He wanted to get together and float a few hours. Naturally I couldn't say no to that, so we made plans to hit the river Friday afternoon. He isn't a fisherman but didn't mind me bringing a fly rod along.

When we arrived at the river, I was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of activity from the fish. Rises, jumping trout, everything telling me that I might catch a few. Strangely, I couldn't get any to play at first. I had rigged up with something other than the flavor of the day unfortunately, and out of pure laziness I stuck with it a bit too long. Once I changed over to a midge things improved quickly.




Adam Littell Photograph


We paddled down the river, lazily drifting along for the most part on the low water. Every now and then I would switch rods. The midges were producing well, but I really didn't have any follows on the streamer as far as I could tell. In one spot we beached the kayak to wade a bit. Fish were feeding heavily throughout the run, and I caught my first Caney slam in awhile. The only noteworthy fish was the brookie.



Adam Littell Photograph


Overall it was a great trip made better by the fact that I got to hang out with a good friend. I'm hoping to fish again tomorrow although on some different water. Check back again soon for further updates...

Monday, July 12, 2010

And So It Begins

Striper season 2010...finally time to start chasing them again!!!

Trevor Smart photo

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Floating with Southeastern Fly

Nathan Stanaway photo


Backpacking in the Smokies is always an enjoyable experience. I've been looking forward to the opportunity to do so for awhile and couldn't wait to get on some of my favorite water in the Park. Unfortunately the best of plans don't always work out. Due to several factors, we had to cancel the Smokies trip. To salvage the weekend, my cousin Nathan decided to come up to Crossville instead, and we planned on floating the Caney.

Originally we planned on taking my canoe, but when David Perry from Southeastern Fly asked if we were interested in floating with him, we both thought that would be a good idea. This turned out to be perfect since David knows the river so well. He showed us a couple of tricks he has for days that seem slower at first, and it made all the difference.

We planned on meeting early. I was actually on time for a change, and we were ready to float by around 6:45 or 7:00. The first hundred yards of the float was spent just trying to navigate through the maze of other river users. Once we got out in front of everyone though the fishing immediately improved. Nathan and I started out fishing, and soon we were both catching fish. The midge hatch produce some excellent fishing on a dry/dropper rig. I wanted to catch some larger fish and eventually couldn't resist the call of the streamer rod.




Within just a few casts with a Stacked Blond, I had a little 10 inch brown on and thought it might turn out to be a good streamer day! Unfortunately the quick success soon turned into lots of follows and flashes but few strikes. Still, I was turning fish and some nice ones at that so I was a little reluctant to stop throwing big streamers for big fish.

We continued down the river and things really slowed down as the sun hit the water. The hordes of canoes coming down the river weren't helping either although most people were being polite. The glaring exception was a boat that motored by within 6 feet or so between the drift boat and the bank that was probably no more than 30 feet away at this point and probably much less. This was while I was working the streamer rod to said bank, and it was all I could do to restrain from blasting one of them in the head with a big streamer. Some people are just not very intelligent.

The dry spell continued for a good distance down the river, largely due to the fact that we were spending a lot of time experimenting. Finally, David went to his bag of tricks and showed us his favorite method of fishing the Caney when it is tough. Immediately we started catching fish and within 10 minutes, I nailed a nice 18 inch brown. That fish made my day, and I was ready to relax for awhile so I took over the oars. Rowing on low water is not a difficult job at all...

Nathan Stanaway photo

Nathan Stanaway photo

David nailed several good fish including browns up to 17 inches. Nathan took over camera duties for awhile and we got some nice pictures of all the fish. When we were about a half a mile or mile above the takeout, Nathan took over in the front and proceeded to catch his own nice 16 inch brown.






The river is slowly coming back although it has a long ways to go before it gets anywhere as good as it used to be. The numbers of fish are still not particularly good and the heavy boat traffic does not help. There are definitely fish to be caught though and even some very nice ones. I'll be looking forward to the opportunity to fish the Caney again, hopefully in the next week or two.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Almost Striper Time

Yesterday evening I took a trip to one of my favorite places to fish for stripers. The expedition was as much a scouting trip as an actual fishing trip. So far we haven't found the fish up shallow where it is easy to target them with a fly rod from shore. Since I don't have a boat or consistent access to one, I make do when the fish are within casting distance from shore.

The trip was very useful and added a bit more knowledge to my repertoire. First, the fish weren't in our favorite spot. Second, most fish are not up feeding on the surface yet although in a few select spots they can be found busting bait. Usually they take patterns deeper in the water column, but I had to go to a Deceiver before finally hooking up. Unfortunately, the last lesson learned was more of a reminder: Don't overpower stripers...when they are ready they will come in. After a solid fight with a very nice fish, I lost the striper when the hook pulled free.

Hopefully in the next 2-3 weeks things will continue to improve. There are few options here in east Tennessee that can compare with the adrenaline rush from hooking a big striper. I hope to try out some musky within the next few months, but until then, stripers are high on my list of best fighting fish here in our area.

Monday, July 05, 2010

No Need For Greed

Catching lots of fish seems to be the goal of fly fishing these days. Naturally we all want to catch plenty of fish, especially since we could spend the same amount of time on the water without a fly rod if we were just out for the experience. Still, sometimes it is nice to relax and just appreciate the overall experience as it comes.

My fishing drought ended yesterday. I had spent the weekend in Atlanta and was on my way back home when the brilliant thought occurred to me that the Tellico area really wasn't that far out of my way. All my fishing gear had magically been stashed in my car before the trip so everything fell into place nicely. I rarely fish the mainstem Tellico, opting for small tributary streams instead where the only fish you'll encounter are wild and the crowds are slim to none.

After driving around scanning lots of water, I finally just eased the car into a pulloff and got out to examine the stream. The water is getting very low so I knew stealth would be the order of the day. I casually rigged up a 9 foot 4 weight Legend Ultra and extended the leader with around 20 inches of 6x tippet. Low clear water and a lack of big fish convinced me that I could get away with tippet that was lighter than I normally use and that it would in fact improve my success. The vast majority of the time I start with a nymph, but on this day I wanted to catch fish on dries. After observing the stream and its environs, I realized that I would probably be creating an artificial hatch. The only bugs around were some extremely pesky gnats that were trying to make my life miserable. A light cahill parachute seemed like a good way to cover water. The fish here are not picky and will generally rise to just about any reasonable pattern.

My guess proved to be a good one on the first cast. Catching fish immediately can often be the sign of a terrible day of fishing. The first cast curse didn't strike thankfully and a short while later I caught another. Continuing up the creek, I fished around 80 yards of water. It took me around 45 minutes to cover the section and in that time I pulled out 8 little rainbows. All were healthy and very feisty making pictures difficult.


As I approached the pulloff where I had left my car, I realized that my day was already perfect. Asking anything more of the stream would just be greedy. One of my fish came on one of those casts that you make and then wonder how in the world you just pulled it off. Everything was working nicely and to fish any longer would have invited a sub-par ending to the day. I decided to head on back towards civilization and home, the perfect interlude in my day complete...

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