Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 12/3/2019

Winter fishing is nearly upon us. Snow yesterday has given way to falling water temperatures in the Smokies. In general, fish will be hunkered down, although by tomorrow they should start to get more active again as temperatures warm. For the next three months, expect many more fish in the slower places in the Park. Think nymphs and maybe streamers but don't be surprised to find fish rising to blue-winged olives or midges on some days.

On tailwaters like the Clinch, brown trout and some fall spawn rainbows are doing their thing. This is a good time to review good ethics when it comes to spawning trout. Remember that these are the next generation of trout and the best thing you can do is to leave them alone. Avoid wading through spawning areas and don't fish for obvious spawners. For the foreseeable future, we should have high water thanks to big rains this last weekend. Fishing out of the drift boat will be very good through the winter with both nymphing and streamer fishing a distinct possibility. Want to swing for the fences and go for just one monster? Streamers will just get better and better going into January and February.

The Caney is slowly coming around. A few shad are coming through the dam, but lingering water quality problems are limiting the fishing. Winter streamer floats will produce shots at larger brown trout for anglers willing to work hard. Next spring should bring good fishing again.

Winter is our favorite time to get on the musky streams. In between bouts of high water, those will be fishing well for the next few months.

Photo of the Month: Big Fish Chuck Strikes Again

Photo of the Month: Big Fish Chuck Strikes Again

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...

2 comments:

  1. I love the Tellico area, but always seem to forgot to go there. I really like the theme of the report. We get caught up in the act of catching fish so often that we forget that the reason we are fishing. I always try to spend a few minutes in the water taking in my surrondings before I make my first cast. It helps me slow down.

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  2. Imagine that! Your rod and gear magically stowed in your car, just in case. Happens to me all the time. Glad you caught a few. Makes the stop worth while.

    Mark

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