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

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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