Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 01/08/2020

Unusually warm and wet conditions continue to prevail here in middle and east Tennessee. This upcoming weekend is looking like more rain and possibly even severe weather. The wind forecast is bad enough that I wouldn't bother going fishing until Sunday at the earliest unless you can go tomorrow.

In the Smokies, nymphing will be the name of the game, but don't be surprised to see some blue-winged olives from time to time. With all the high water, think streamers, big stoneflies, or worm imitations.

Tailwaters like the Caney Fork and Clinch are still rolling with a lot of water. Both rivers are over 10,000 cfs. While this is still fishable, I don't really recommend it. Flows this high are generally all about swinging for the fences if you feel like hunting a trophy. Many days it won't happen. Once in a while it will. Throw big streamers, hope for a shad kill, and get out there. Those big fish won't get caught if you're sitting home on the couch.

The Caney will produce decent fishing if we ever get flows back down at least a little. One generator would be ideal. Right now I'll even take two. Minimum flow looks a long ways off right now.

On the Clinch, you can throw streamers and also possible nymph up a few fish. If you pick your spots, there are places to nymph even on 12,000 cfs. Let's hope it gets back down to two generators or less soon. Every time we get a big rain event, look for some low water for a day or two or three. TVA will hold water back at tributary dams like Norris to reduce downstream high water effects. This gives those of us who like to wade a day or two to fish.

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: Starting the Year Off Right

Photo of the Month: Starting the Year Off Right

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tis the Season


Fish are starting to get fired up about streamers again. As we move into the colder months, streamers will be a great bet on tailwaters and mountain streams alike. The big browns are getting aggressive and will respond to streamers through the winter. The water temperature will determine the best method of presentation. On tailwaters, a fast retrieve is normally effective while in the mountains, the fish sometimes want the offering presented nearly dead drift...

This rainbow fell for an olive/pearl Zonker on the Caney last Friday. The fish hammered the fly and proceeded to give my 5 weight a workout. I was glad to have my big net handy. Photographing fish is much easier if you can protect the fish and keep it in the water until you are prepared to take the picture.


As far as the fishing goes, I caught a few small fish including a brookie and a brown. I also fished to a larger rising brown for a while but could never get it to eat. Overall the water clarity is marginal at best and I can't really recommend fishing the Caney for another month at least due to the clarity problems. The sluice gate will be in operation for some time until the temperatures come down and the dissolved oxygen levels from the generators improve. This, combined with the lake turning over soon, means that the clarity will continue to be an issue.

Right now, the hot place to be is the South Holston. Good numbers of nice fish are being caught, including some very nice fish to around 25 inches on streamers. The sulphurs are still hatching and the fall BWOs have started. Expect to find the BWO hatching best on cloudy days and the sulphurs will tend to be better on sunny days.

Water levels in the mountains are still low to extremely low. Until we get some substantial rain, fishing in the mountains will be tough at best. Fall hatches are coming on now in the mountains and should provide good fishing until we get consistently cold weather that brings stream temperatures down to winter time levels.


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