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

Thursday, January 06, 2011

First Float of the Year: "Just In Time"


When David Perry asked me late last week if I was interested in a weekend float, I was excited for the opportunity to get out on the water in what will probably be a lean month as far as fishing goes.  I asked about fishing streamers and he was game.  My interest immediately increased exponentially as visions of sticking a big fish for the new year started running through my head.  My streamers boxes were checked, but I didn't really get around to tying any new ones.  That turned out to be ok though...

Sunday rolled around, and I woke up early, ready to hit the road for the Caney.  Pulling into our take out point, I saw David P. with the drifter already there.  I got my stuff switched over to his truck and off we went.  As we put the boat in at the launch, we could see people catching a few, and fish were rising occasionally to something small in the surface film.  I had a special spot I wanted to try, and David P. was kind enough to accomodate.  This proved to be a great move as we got into several fish rather quickly including my first crappie of 2011, a few browns, and numerous skipjack. 

 Photo courtesy David Perry

Finally, we realized that we needed to make some progress down river.  Shortly after we started drifting, I hooked an energetic rainbow, but was thrilled to see a huge golden flash behind it as it twisted and turned on its way to the boat.  Monster browns are always what we are after when throwing streamers and this fish would definitely have qualified.  Unfortunately, I only got a quick glimpse of the fish before it vanished and it didn't reappear.  We moved on down the river, moving a a few fish and hooking up with some more nice rainbows. 

Photo courtesy David Perry


 Photo courtesy David Perry

 Photo courtesy David Perry

David P. had some new patterns he wanted to try when it was his turn to fish.  His new streamer was the hot fly for the day.  Even though I had the right color, his pattern still outfished mine for the most part.  Over the course of the float, he managed the Caney Fork slam and some skipjack, while I only caught rainbows and browns plus skipjack and that one crappie.  We were both surprised at the number and variety of fish that were chasing our streamers.

Photo courtesy David Perry




A few big browns came out to chase our streamers, but we couldn't get any truly large fish to commit.  As the shadows grew longer, the temperature started dropping to the point where we were getting ice in our guides.  We became more interested in making it to the take out than slowing down and thoroughly fishing every spot.  As we took the boat out, both of us agreed that it was one of the better days either of us have had in awhile. 

I'm hoping to get out again soon, perhaps to the mountains this time.  It will depend on how busy I am but I might manage to get away one day this weekend.  The Caney will be unfishable to all but those in boats for awhile.  Heavy rain this past weekend means that Center Hill is running 2+ generators and will be for some time.  We did our float just in the nick of time.  The generators came on as our day was winding down and haven't let up since.  I expect the river to fish very well once water levels come back down...

1 comment:

  1. Great looking float. Looks like you had a blast. Nice to see you're getting into fish during the winter. Thanks for sharing.

    Ben

    ReplyDelete

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