Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 09/04/2019

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 for another week 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. Yellow Stimulators in particular have also been good lately.

The Caney Fork continues to produce a few fish here and there. Stripers are still thick in the river which isn't helping the trout at all. As long as things stay dry, this will be a viable option. There are a few large fish present if you know where to look. Yesterday's big fish was a 21.5" rainbow caught while sight fishing. Don't expect that every day, but if you're prepared to put in your time, there are good fish to be caught (and released!!!).

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 except, possibly, during early mornings. Weekends are offering some morning windows but crowds will generally be thick as well.

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 for the Smokies

Photo of the Month: Guide Trip Fish of the Year for the Smokies

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hot and Cold Water: Yellowstone Part One

For fly fishermen, the lure of Yellowstone exists in the multitude of cold-water fisheries. From small streams, to lakes, to the mighty Yellowstone, the Park has waters to suit any taste. However, the original goal of the Park was more to preserve the natural beauty as seen in the hot springs, geysers, and other geothermal features as well as to preserve the native wildlife.
  
On my recent trip to Yellowstone, I was able to get in enough fishing to stay relatively content and yet at the same time enjoy the scenic beauty of the Park, often from behind the lens of my camera. During our stay, many hours were devoted to searching for wildlife and just soaking in the majestic views. 

The first full day in the Park involved hot water, perfect timing, and a nice hike that included some amazing wildflower viewing.  We had 8 days to enjoy the Park and planned a rather ambitious schedule that would cover all the things we wanted to do and see.  Old Faithful was high on the list and an obvious must.


Madison Campground would be our home for the first four nights and it is in relatively close proximity to Old Faithful.  We woke up and ate a hearty breakfast during which resident ground squirrels came by to see if they could get a handout. After cleaning up, we headed up the Firehole River.  Taking the Firehole River Drive allowed us to explore the Firehole River Canyon with its falls and cascade.  The scenery in this short stretch is so much better than on the main road.  After completing the drive, we continued on to Old Faithful.

Luck was with us and we found a parking spot relatively close to the viewing area.  Noticing large crowds watching expectantly, we hustled over and within 3-4 minutes Old Faithful erupted.  On previous trips, I have always arrived shortly after an eruption resulting in long and boring waits.  The hot water from Old Faithful provided the perfect opportunity to take pictures. 







My camera stayed busy the entire time and throughout the day, capturing incredible views of hot springs, steam vents, and beautifully colored runoff from the geothermal features along the Firehole River. 



One of my favorites is Grand Prismatic Hot Spring.  I could spend a whole day trying to capture all the moods and scenery around the hot spring which lies in the Midway Geyser Basin.  The colors range from a vivid deep blue to some of the richest oranges and reds I have ever seen.  Just the scale of the hot spring is mind boggling to me.



By this time the constant exposure to the sun, which was more intense than we were used to due to the elevation and dry air, was beginning to take a toll on everyone.  Some time in the air-conditioned car searching for wildlife seemed like a great solution.  After a quick consultation, it was unanimously agreed on to head for the Gallatin River and maybe find a good hike if the afternoon cooled off any. 

We drove down the Gallatin and eventually made it outside of the Park into Montana.  The beautiful Gallatin River canyon kept drawing us on but eventually we realized that this was a drive that could go on indefinitely and turned back towards the Park.  By now, clouds were blocking at least some of the sun's intensity.  The cooler temperatures drew us out of the car and up the Fan Creek Trail in a bid to finally discover some interesting wildlife. 




Up to this point, elk, pronghorn, and the ground squirrels were the only interesting animals discovered.  The wild flowers were absolutely gorgeous though and soon interrupted us from our main goal of finding wildlife.  At Fan Creek, I wet a line for a few minutes but soon decided to head back down the trail as everyone else was not too interested in watching me fish for hours. 

As we headed into an area of dense timber, a rustle quickly brought us to a halt.  With itchy trigger fingers searching for the bear spray, we soon discovered the culprit.  A mighty chipmunk was posing on a nearby log.  Soon my new zoom lens was on and being put to good use.  All too soon the little creature decided that enough was enough and headed for the safety of a hole in a rotten stump.  The remainder of the hike back was uneventful and we returned to our search for wildlife. 


Driving downstream again, we found nothing more in the way of wildlife but did find some more picture worthy wildflowers.  The late afternoon sun briefly lit up the whole valley for a stunning scene, but all too soon the light faded as the clouds returned.  Tired from such a packed day, we headed back to camp for a hot meal and bed.  The next day promised to be as busy as the first...



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