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

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Big Day on the River


Today was one of the better days I've had on the river in the last few months.  Fish were feeding heavily and once I found the right fly combination I was into fish pretty much the whole time.  I fished a fly that I haven't really thrown yet this fall but was reminded how it has been one of the better tailwater patterns I've fished over the years.  The hot fly was a midge larva pattern that I have fished out west on rivers like the Gunnison and Roaring Fork in Colorado as well as the tailwaters here in the east.  If anyone doesn't tie and needs this pattern, I'm offering a few patterns now so just shoot me an email, and I can give you the details and pricing. 

The Caney has not had the best schedule for wade fishing, but you can still fish the upper river late in the day for a few hours once the water starts falling out.  Right now the fishing is tough if you don't know the river well.  These are the conditions when a good guide can be particularly helpful to put you on the fish.  The water is still running quite cloudy which isn't helping those who prefer to sight fish.  Fish are concentrated anywhere the water is funneling food.  Shoals provide the best concentrations of fish right now, but fish are spread throughout the river as well.  Late day midge hatches are coming on strong and bringing a few trout to the surface.  Anglers that enjoy stalking trout with tiny dries and emergers can do well right now as long as they stay patient. 

Within the first 10 casts I caught 3 fish, a brookie, then a brown, and finally completed the slam with a rainbow.  Throughout the afternoon, I managed more rainbows than anything else but did catch 3 beautiful brook trout and 3 browns including one chunky fish that was close to 18 inches. 



I found a few fish that were willing to eat a zebra midge late in the day.  Over the next few weeks, the streamer bite should start to pick up.  The browns are coming off the spawn and should be hungry.  Overall, the river is in the best shape I've seen for awhile.  If we can avoid any major flood events and keep generation to a minimum this winter, then next year should be a great one for the Caney Fork...


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