Rain. Temps in the 30s and low 40s. Camping. Not normally a recipe for good camping, some friends and I decided to battle the elements as we were all free this past weekend. We wanted to do a long hike in preparation for a trip to the Grand Canyon in another couple of weeks. Amazingly, despite the bleak forecast, the weather actually turned out very well. Friday night featured just some very light drizzle that quit once we set up camp. Saturday turned out to be partly cloudy which meant we had some great views once we got to the higher elevations.
For the most part the camera stayed in its case. The light was a little weak, and I knew that the pictures I stored in my mind were much better than anything my camera could accomplish. Our hike took us up the Anthony Creek Trail out of Cades Cove to the Bote Mountain Trail. Ascending up to the AT, we then took a right turn and headed west for three miles. In the process we took in views from Spence Field and Russell Field. Our route back down was the Russell Field Trail which connected to the Anthony Creek trail. Several hours and close to 15 miles later, we were back in camp, all a little sore, but everyone agreed that the hike was well worth it.
Sunday I planned to do a little fishing. The morning dawned overcast and stayed that way up until we headed out of the Cove. I was excited because the low light conditions increased the odds that some large browns would be out feeding. Sadly, as we drove back down Laurel Creek Road towards Little River, the clouds thinned and soon broke completely. The day turned out beautiful but not so good for fishing. I still managed some small rainbows and even got a 14 inch brown to come attempt to eat. Unfortunately I set the hook too early and missed out on pictures of the nice fish.
Hopefully I will be out fishing again soon, most likely on the Caney Fork this next weekend. This is the time of year to be fishing streamers as much as possible on the tailwaters and I'll probably try to do that some...with a little luck, the big guys might come out and play...
FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 3/23/2017
The fishing has been great lately! This spring has been phenomenal in the Smokies. Long hatches have produced dry fly fishing lasting for hours every day. The Caney Fork has been producing some great fish on high water.
In the Great Smoky Mountains, the spring fishing has started early this year. Quill Gordon (#12-#14) and Blue Quill (#16-#18) mayflies are starting to transition into Hendricksons (#12-#14). On foul weather days, the Blue-winged Olives (#18-#22) have literally poured off of the river. The recent cooler weather actually enhanced the dry fly fishing. The bugs have been having a harder time getting off of the water, so despite the cool water temperature, fish have been rising lazily through an extended afternoon hatch. Little Black Caddis (#18-#20) have been hatching well along with some Early Brown Stoneflies (#12).
On the tailwaters, the fishing has been decent to good. The Clinch is fishing well along with the Holston. The Caney Fork continues to be my river of choice, however. Streamer trips continue to produce and we are doing some high water nymphing as well. This is as good a time as any to have a shot at large rainbow and brown trout on this tailwater!
I still have some open dates for guided trips in April and May, but the calendar is filling fast. I've been turning away trips because people wait too long to book. Don't make that mistake!