Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 12/3/2019

Winter fishing is nearly upon us. Snow yesterday has given way to falling water temperatures in the Smokies. In general, fish will be hunkered down, although by tomorrow they should start to get more active again as temperatures warm. For the next three months, expect many more fish in the slower places in the Park. Think nymphs and maybe streamers but don't be surprised to find fish rising to blue-winged olives or midges on some days.

On tailwaters like the Clinch, brown trout and some fall spawn rainbows are doing their thing. This is a good time to review good ethics when it comes to spawning trout. Remember that these are the next generation of trout and the best thing you can do is to leave them alone. Avoid wading through spawning areas and don't fish for obvious spawners. For the foreseeable future, we should have high water thanks to big rains this last weekend. Fishing out of the drift boat will be very good through the winter with both nymphing and streamer fishing a distinct possibility. Want to swing for the fences and go for just one monster? Streamers will just get better and better going into January and February.

The Caney is slowly coming around. A few shad are coming through the dam, but lingering water quality problems are limiting the fishing. Winter streamer floats will produce shots at larger brown trout for anglers willing to work hard. Next spring should bring good fishing again.

Winter is our favorite time to get on the musky streams. In between bouts of high water, those will be fishing well for the next few months.

Photo of the Month: Big Fish Chuck Strikes Again

Photo of the Month: Big Fish Chuck Strikes Again

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ramsey Cascades Near Death Experience


Ramsey Cascades has been on my must-do list of hikes for a long time.  While camping a week and a half ago, I finally made the somewhat strenuous trek to the falls.  Several friends as well as my cousin allowed themselves to be talked into joining me on the hike.  We headed up the trail with the knowledge that we were racing time.  Storms were forecast and we didn't want to get caught out in the weather. 

The hike up was tiring but uneventful.  The cascade was actually much better than I anticipated.  We spent plenty of time relaxing and taking pictures.  I found some nice angles but ultimately the higher water of spring prevented me from getting to all the spots I wanted to take pictures from.  The stream below the cascade was as picturesque as the falls so I was happy to spend time with my camera.








After resting, eating lunch, and filtering some water, we started back down the trail.  The wind was increasing and several trees fell in the woods above us.  One section of trail was completely buried in the rubble of a rotten tree that had fallen minutes before we passed.  The crash reverberated through the forest, making us increasingly nervous.  The size of the tree that fell convinced us that the best thing we could do was to get out of the woods as soon as possible.  After having one member of our party pose in the debris for pictures, we quickly moved on.

Nathan Stanaway Photograph

Shortly after, one of my friends decided to jog ahead.  As we came around a bend, we found her lying in the middle of the trail.  Since she had just posed in the trail for pictures, we figured she was joking.  As we got closer, we started making comments like "nice job," and "comfortable down there?"  Then we noticed the large limb next to hear and someone bent closer and spotted blood on her face.

  Nathan Stanaway Photograph

Nathan Stanaway Photograph

My cousin is a paramedic and immediately went into work mode.  He made a quick assessment, and thankfully she was responsive.  Apparently, she was jogging down the trail when a huge gust broke a limb out of a tree.  All she knows is that she felt a jolting blow to the head and collapsed in the trail.  She was groggy for several minutes and had a headache for days but otherwise seems to be fine.  I made the best of an otherwise bad situation by taking an amusing "guide/client" shot with the limb.  As you can see, it was very large and had to have fallen from at least 30 feet up.  It is really a miracle that she was not hurt any worse.  God was definitely watching out for her.  Finally we helped her to her feet and continued down the trail but at a much slower pace.

  Nathan Stanaway Photograph

Thankfully the worst of the rain held off until we were in camp.  A quick stop for donuts lifted our spirits despite the gloomy weather.  Back in camp we fixed a hot supper and then went to bed...the next day would have more adventures and we needed plenty of rest...

Friday, April 22, 2011

High Water 'Bow

Last weekend in the Smokies was difficult from a "standard" fishing perspective.  The streamers were fun, but Sunday was supposed to be a day to take some friends fishing.  We were hoping to fish dry flies or nymphs so we headed for the West Prong of Little River to find some fishable water.  The West Prong always drains out a little faster since it is a small stream with few feeders. 

We found some pools that were at a perfect level for fishing nymphs.  Everyone tried something a little different, but in the end the fish did not care.  I caught fish on a Tellico and on a Red Copper John.  The last rainbow was a nice sized fish for a Smokies small stream.  It was very acrobatic, putting on quite an airshow.  This 'bow was the perfect end to a nice weekend in the Park. 

Catherine McGrath Photograph

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spring!!!

The dogwoods definitely signal spring here in Tennessee.  Last weekend the trees in the Smokies were in full bloom.  I finally found some overlooking Little River that made a beautiful picture.  The early morning sun was illuminating the forest in the distance...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Streamer Action Hot

Last weekend's high water event in the Smokies brought the browns out to play.  I almost didn't find out until too late, but got in on the streamer action before things returned to normal.  Lots of fish followed my fly and several hit as well.  Only one actually got its mouth around the big Clouser though. 

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Troubled Montana

Apparently special interests have convinced the politicians of Montana to override the wishes of the state's residents.  The state legislature passed a cyanide leach mining bill so now the best we can hope for is the governor to veto the bill.  Tom Chandler over at the Trout Underground is keeping up with the latest developments.  If you read further on his blog there are several other posts referring to the topic.  Educate yourself and then contact the Montana governor via email (email link on the Trout Underground post). 

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Smallmouth Fishing Compromised

Those who enjoy fishing the Little Pigeon in Sevierville and Pigeon Forge for smallies may want to wait awhile before heading to the river.  Apparently there was a major sewage spill upriver at Gatlinburg...guess I won't be targeting smallmouth there anytime soon...

Newsletter

Subscribe to the Trout Zone Anglers Newsletter!

* indicates required