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, February 03, 2011

Warm Respite

After a great day of hiking this past Saturday, I knew that getting out on Sunday was definitely necessary.  The Smokies have been calling for weeks so I finally made the drive over with a couple of friends.  We planned on having a relaxed day with a little hiking, a little fishing, and most of all just enjoying the great outdoors. 

The drive over was uneventful.  After a stop to pick up some sandwiches for lunch we headed into the Park.  I stopped at a couple of favorite pools to look for big browns sitting out.  Sure enough, in the first place I checked a very nice fish was out feeding.  I watched for a good ten minutes but decided to leave it for the time being.  We drove on to Elkmont and started up the trail.  After hiking for a bit, we found a nice spot in the sun to hang out and eat lunch.


Naturally I was in a hurry to sample the fishing so I rigged up and headed a couple hundred feet downstream to fish back up.  The first several pockets and runs were seemingly devoid of life, but having fished often before in cold weather I knew that it was just a matter of time.  The dry flies weren't doing the trick like I had hoped so I switched over to a pair of nymphs.  Immediately the fish started to hit a Tellico and things progressed nicely.  The first fish came right where I had left my friends lounging on a rock, and the three runs immediately above were also good to me.




The rainbows are starting to color up for the spawn which should be starting soon.  The river was in excellent shape, and I expect the fishing to be great this spring.  Right now, it looks like old man winter will hang on for at least another two weeks.  I would bet that the second week in March is a good bet for the first big hatches, but of course it is only a guess. 



After the sun started sinking below the ridge, we headed back down the trail.  I stopped in a couple of spots to catch some more trout.  Everywhere I expected to find fish produced well for me.  The fish were glued to the bottom for the most part at this elevation, but a weighted nymph and a couple of split shot did the trick. 

We headed over to Cades Cove to finish off the day watching the sunset.  The cove was basking in the warm glow of a late winter sun and the spring peepers were singing their song.  We still have some cold days ahead, but weather like this starts to ignite spring fever for me.  I'm hoping to get out again over the next few days.  I've had a cold for days, but hopefully it will ease enough that I can get out soon.  I'm hoping to return to the Smokies so stay tuned for more...


4 comments:

  1. That top pic is AWESOME! Good stuff.

    The Average Joe Fisherman

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  2. It sure looks good to see a stream that doesn't have three feet of snow along the bank.
    Those rainbows are beautiful

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  3. Middle TN Lee12:08 AM

    First off, great post and pictures as usual. I really enjoy your writing style and photography.

    Ok, have a few questions...what patterns do you typically fish with the tellico on your double nymph rigs? And do you use the tellico as the point/dropper? Also, do you use an indicator or no?

    And I would really enjoy a write up about some of your techniques/tips for spotting large feeding fish. That is something that I have been trying to work on.

    Thanks,

    Lee

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow, some great photography here!

    ReplyDelete

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