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

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Teaching



As a teacher, I enjoy imparting knowledge and hopefully a little wisdom to young people.  Occasionally I get the pleasure of teaching more than just academic subjects.  Recently, the school I work for took our guys on an outing that included some time for them to swim, boat, or otherwise enjoy time on the lake.  Naturally I brought a fly rod along as well.  In years past, I have always had several guys that wanted to try out fly fishing.  As this small lake is private, it is the perfect place to allow them to try the sport without having to worry about such things as a fishing license. 

This year, three guys in particular wanted to try fly fishing.  By the end of the outing, it appears that I successfully did my job.  The guys were asking how much it would cost for them to buy fly fishing gear and where to go to purchase the equipment. 

I have a special pattern I tie specifically for fishing this pond although I use it anywhere I fish for bass and large sunfish.  After tying it on, I warmed up the rod for them by hooking a couple bluegills and a bass or two.  As soon as they were sufficiently enthusiastic, I passed the rod off to the first candidate. 

The first place I normally have someone try is where a culvert goes under the road, connecting a small, weed-filled section of the lake to the main body of water.  Bass will lay up in the deep cut waiting for any prey that happens to come by.  I placed the first guy close to the water and gave him just a few feet of line, showing him how to flip it out there and slowly retrieve it with small strips.  After mastering the presentation and retrieve, everything came together.  The fly slowly sank out of sight into the deep cut and suddenly the line twitched.  "Set!" I hollered, forgetting as always that a beginner normally has no clue what I mean by that.  Thankfully he got the idea and lifted the rod tip.  Soon, I lipped the best bass of the outing and we posed for a quick picture together.

 
The next guy up tried the other side of the culvert.  Almost as soon as the fly hit the water, it took off into some weeds were whatever had eaten promptly through this hook.  He was somewhat disappointed, but I assured him that, no worries, we still had plenty of good spots to hit. 

Next up we moved around to the dam.  Here, small indentations in the bank along with the proximity to deeper water give bass the sanctuary they need along with good options for feeding.  After helping him position, we moved to instruction on casting a bit further.  He picked it up like a natural and was soon casting the 15-20 feet necessary to catch fish.  Soon something slammed the fly and after a brief fight, we admired a nice chunky bluegill and posed for the required pictures.

 
The next guy took his place with the fly rod and we continued stalking bass.  Again, it only took a couple of tries for him to sufficiently master the art of fly casting to at least catch some fish.  The now standard twitch part way through his retrieve motivated a good hook set, and I soon lipped yet another bass. 


All three guys were thrilled with the experience.  Hopefully three more guys have been inspired to take up the hobby of fly fishing. 

2 comments:

  1. I've always said that learning fly fishing is one thing, but it's the catching that'll hook new students of the sport.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Pat, I agree whole-heartedly. When I introduce someone to the sport, I prefer to fish under relatively easy conditions or for an easy to catch species. None of these guys had to cast more than 15 times to catch their fish...

    ReplyDelete

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