Guided Trips


Things have changed a lot since the last report. Unseasonably warm weather has kicked off the first hatches of the year in the Great Smoky Mountains while an extremely wet February means all of the tailwaters are blown out across middle and east Tennessee.

If you want to fish in the Smokies, nymphs and streamers will be your best bet unless you encounter a hatch. In that case, Blue Quills and Quill Gordons should be in your arsenal as well as Blue-winged Olives.

For now, just forget about the tailwaters in the short term. continued rain means it will be at least another month before the tailwaters are fishable again. With luck, we can start thinking about some streamer float trips on the Caney Fork in mid to late March, although that may be optimistic. In the meantime, head for the mountains and enjoy chasing the wild trout there.

Photo of the Month: Breaking Cabin Fever

Photo of the Month: Breaking Cabin Fever

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.




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