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

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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