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

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Back In Felt

I first heard about the change announced by Simms over on Tom Chandler's Trout Underground and have since done some research although specific information is a little hard to come by.  In talking with Byron Begley at Little River Outfitters, it seems that, at least at my local shop, the staff and owners didn't bother complaining to Simms.  The customers that wanted felt simply bought other products while a good number of people opted to give rubber soles a try, and everyone was still satisfied.  On the other hand, at least one customer reported falling multiple times in his newly purchased rubber soled boots.  While my first instinct is to laugh at Simms for such a quick about-face, at the same time I have to respect them for actually listening to the consumer.

My initial reaction to the announcement of the ban was to fire off an email to Simms explaining how crucial felt was here in East Tennessee.  Of course it depends on your fishing and wading style, but for those that fish the Smokies and tailwaters with lots of slick ledges like the Hiwassee, felt is hands down the safest way to stay on your feet.  My most recent pair of wading boots was a pair of Redington boots I got a good deal on.  The main reason they weren't Simms was because I couldn't find any Simms felt sole boots anymore.  I'll be going back to Simms next year or whenever I need to buy a new pair of boots because they fit me better than any other boot I've tried yet, and I'll support a company that is so willing to listen to what their customers want...

When it comes to preventing invasive species, I believe that education is the answer.  Legislating or marketing a specific method or product will not work if the masses don't buy in.  Instead of trying to force the industry in the direction of their choosing, Simms would do well to put their time and dollars into spearheading a collective effort to provide education to anglers and perhaps researching the best methods to clean gear. 

In talking to the good people at Little River Outfitters, I was alerted to another method to clean gear that is used by the Great Smoky Mountains NP fisheries biologists.  I have a few documents, brochures and papers to peruse but will be sharing more on that in a few days...

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