Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 08/16/2019

Fishing has slowed down in some places and heated up in others. Smallmouth bass fishing on the streams of the Cumberland Plateau has been good to excellent while the tailwaters have slowed down somewhat.

In the Smokies, streams are getting low and warm. Stick with mid and high elevation streams for now until we get some rain and cooler weather. Right now it looks like this will probably last until the end of the month although we do have some rain forecast next week. Let's hope that happens! A variety of bugs are working here, but lean heavily on your terrestrial box.

The Caney Fork in particular has been tough the last few days. A combination of factors has been hard on the river including striped bass which eat a tremendous number of trout. Overall fishing pressure has also contributed to tough fishing. Those fish have become educated!!! Think small on your midges and you should at least find a few trout.

The Clinch seems to be in the middle of the annual late summer drawdown of Norris Lake. High water will be the norm here for the next few weeks. If you don't have a boat, then don't bother.

Fall fishing is not far off. The Clinch should fish well unless we have a wet fall. Sometime between mid October and early November, we should see flows start to come down. The Smokies are my personal favorite for fall fishing. The fish will be hungry and maybe even looking up!

Photo of the Month: Guide Trip Fish of the Year? Maybe...

Photo of the Month: Guide Trip Fish of the Year? Maybe...

Monday, May 30, 2011

Cicadas

Have you ever gone fishing knowing that a certain hatch might be on, and yet remaining pathetically unprepared because you just didn't get around to tying a few patterns up?  I've been known to suffer from this affliction a time or two, the most recent happening just yesterday.  A particular brood of 13 year cicadas is emerging across a large portion of Tennessee as we move into the summer.  There is a certain little lake near Cookeville that I like to fish occasionally, and the last time I was down there the cicadas were definitely hatching.

The noise was so obvious on the drive to the lake that I didn't even need to get out of my car before I knew with certainty that the cicadas were out in force.  In fact, as I wandered through the woods around the lake, the noise was deafening.  I wondered if a person could go insane from the bedlam but then quickly moved to the more positive line of thought involving fish hammering big dries. 

Then I remembered that I had intended to tie some new cicada patterns, but in all the hurry that we call life I had forgotten.  At this point I began a ritual that is, for me at least, frighteningly familiar.  It involves digging through box after box of flies in the vane hope that I stashed a cicada in some obscure corner of a fly box normally reserved for a completely different type of pattern.  As my options dwindled, I kept returning to the box that held my extended body salmonfly patterns from a couple of years ago when I chased this hatch around Colorado as well as in Yellowstone National Park.  One fly in particular stood out to me.  Instead of tying it with the usual orange foam, I had used black foam with orange thread to provide the segmented look.  Realizing it was my best option at the moment, I tied it on and began stalking fish cruising the shallows. 

The first two fish I cast over did not like the shadows darting overhead and headed for the sanctuary of deeper water.  The next fish was not as intelligent and promptly slammed the salmonfly posing as a cicada.  After a couple of quick pictures I moved on, catching a few more bass and some bluegill and redear before reeling in to change flies. 

Catherine McGrath Photograph

Sometimes, when the catching aspect of the game is particularly successful, I start to wonder if the fish would hit any other patterns.  This thought process initiated, it didn't take long before I reeled in to change flies.  Surprisingly, the fish weren't entirely dumb.  Other normally solid patterns did not produce as well and it was obvious that the fish really were starting to prefer the juicy morsels that occasionally ended up in the water. 

Catherine McGrath Photograph

During the course of the afternoon, it was not entirely lost on me that I was just catching bait in the overall scheme of things.  Three times, the water nearby erupted with small baitfish fleeing for their lives as a dark torpedo materialized below.  These big bass got me wondering if maybe I shouldn't bring my float tube next time to really fish the lake properly.  But then, is size really that important?  Shouldn't I just be content catching plenty of fish on big dries? 

Now that I know how important the cicada really was to the success of the trip, I will probably tie a few up in my spare time.  In fact, it's entirely possible that I will get carried away and tie more than I possibly need.  In the end, this works out just fine.  I'll probably end up fishing with a buddy that had the same problem I had, knowing he needs a few cicadas but just didn't take the time to tie any.  When that happens, I'll open my box and ask, "Want to try one of these?" 

Catherine McGrath Photograph

Catherine McGrath Photograph

1 comment:

  1. David
    Nice largemouth, did you try any hoppers, or tiny poppers. The reason I am asking is a friend of my son-in-law in Franklin used the hopper in the place of the Cicadas and landed some nice bass. Great Post.

    ReplyDelete

Newsletter

Subscribe to the Trout Zone Anglers Newsletter!

* indicates required