Guided Trips


Things have changed a lot since the last report. Unseasonably warm weather has kicked off the first hatches of the year in the Great Smoky Mountains while an extremely wet February means all of the tailwaters are blown out across middle and east Tennessee.

If you want to fish in the Smokies, nymphs and streamers will be your best bet unless you encounter a hatch. In that case, Blue Quills and Quill Gordons should be in your arsenal as well as Blue-winged Olives.

For now, just forget about the tailwaters in the short term. continued rain means it will be at least another month before the tailwaters are fishable again. With luck, we can start thinking about some streamer float trips on the Caney Fork in mid to late March, although that may be optimistic. In the meantime, head for the mountains and enjoy chasing the wild trout there.

Photo of the Month: Breaking Cabin Fever

Photo of the Month: Breaking Cabin Fever

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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