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

Monday, January 31, 2011

Transitional Water

Nope, this is not a post about reading water or discovering how to find fish when they are moving between water types.  Instead, remember your second grade science lessons when you learned about the difference between water in its solid and liquid forms. 

The extended cold weather finally gave way to warmer temperatures.  One of the great aspects of living in the mid-south is that we normally get a reprieve from the cold weather on occasion throughout the winter.  This past weekend saw highs soaring into the low 60s, meaning that all the snow and ice we've experienced this winter has largely melted.  Still, in sheltered gorges, large ice formations remain to remind us that the icy grip of winter is not far away. 

I hiked with a group of friends at Colditz Cove State Natural Area.  This was my second time there, and I spent more time with the camera than compared to the previous trip.  The water on the sides of the gorge was in a transitional stage.  The ice was glistening as it softened up but without completely melting all the way.  The late afternoon light was incredible as well, often combining with the natural elements of rock and ice to create beautiful compositions that I only feebly attempted to capture. 

The following are a few of my favorite pictures from the hike.  Some are all about light, others all about texture, and a few display interesting shapes front and center.  The best combine all these elements...

This ice formation was almost shaped like a claw.  The smooth texture was the result of the warm temperatures slowly melting the ice.


 The same ice formation contrasts nicely against the warm light on the roof of the overhanging rock.


The centerpiece of the hike, Northrup Falls, plunges over 60 feet to a turqouise pool below. 


A lone plant clings to the moss covered wall of the gorge. 


The shapes here intrigued the geometry teacher within. The color and texture of the sandstone is beautiful as well...

This fallen tree provided the perfect base for an unusual ice accumulation.


So is this what a squirrel sees when it climbs a tree?


Curtains of ice glisten as they hang on the canyon walls.

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