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

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Almost There?

Even a couple of weeks worth of high water on my local tailwater can seem like an eternity.  The last several weeks are starting to seem more like several years.  The last time I was on the Caney was last November.  Since then, the generation has been pretty consistent at over 10,000 cfs.  That's a lot of water no matter which way you look at it.  A few brave souls are still out in boats but most people have been trying other spots.


Now, Center Hill Lake is finally slipping below the magical 630 feet above sea level.  Unfortunately, in the colder months this threshold has little meaning.  Winter pool is much lower than that so while we might start to see TVA cut back on the generation a little, it is doubtful that there will be any wadeable windows any time soon.  The active weather pattern looks like it will continue for the foreseeable future, so it is doubtful that the lake will drop very fast.  In fact, don't be surprised if it spikes up again within the next week or two. 

Thankfully, there are still fish that can be caught.  In fact, when I stopped by the river to take a look a couple of weeks ago, there were fish rising in a very accessible spot.  I doubt I'll be driving 45 minutes to fish a small section of bank, but I can take comfort in the fact that I could if I really wanted to. 

The last few days have awakened the first stirring of spring fever somewhere inside.  Visions of Blue Quills, Little Black Caddis, Quill Gordons, and of course rising trout, have been dancing around in my head in several spare moments.  I find myself staring out the window.  What I'm really seeing is not the dreary sky threatening more rain, but huge hatches with lots of rising trout.  As inspiration grows, I'll be heading to the Smokies searching for fish willing to be force fed in the colder water now flowing.  Some days will be phenomenal with lots of fish out feeding. Other days will be classic winter fishing with tight-lipped trout hugging the bottom, but thankfully those days will soon draw to a close as winter gives way to spring.

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