Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 01/22/2020

High flows continue across the area but trends are definitely down. A recent cold snap broke the ongoing heatwave so fishing in the mountains has slowed dramatically. Right on schedule, some of our tailwaters should begin returning to more normal flows for this time of year meaning float trips are certainly possible.

For the Smokies, a warming trend should commence as we go into next week. By mid week the fishing should be decent before the next cold front returns us back to winter again. On warmer days, look for midges and possibly winter stoneflies hatching. Some blue-winged olives will be possible on foul weather days as we head towards February. The best fishing is still a few weeks out, but no longer feels like an eternity. Expect good spring hatches to start in late February or early March with blue quills and quill gordons along with little black caddis and early brown and black stones. By April, things will be settling down with the pinnacle of spring fishing usually happening from mid April through the month of May.

On our area tailwaters, high water continues to be the story. The Caney Fork still has at least a couple of weeks of high flows and that is assuming we don't get any more heavy rainfall. This time of year, that is asking a lot. The high water is good for one thing, however. Shad. Yes, the cold months are prime time to try and hit the famed shad kill and catch a monster brown trout. Same thing goes for the Clinch.

Speaking of the Clinch, the good news is that flows are scheduled to begin dropping tomorrow. A steady two generators will feel like low water after the recent period of two generators plus sluicing. Two generators opens up some nymphing possibilities in addition to our favorite winter pastime, stripping streamers for monsters.

The musky streams are settling into fine shape and will be an option moving forward as well. Remember that bouts of high water will get them stained or even muddy for a few days, but as flows come down the fishing should pick back up.

Photo of the Month: Starting the Year Off Right

Photo of the Month: Starting the Year Off Right

Friday, February 24, 2012

Hatches



Go fishing now!!!  The first early spring hatches continue to happen pretty much daily over in the Smokies.  Some nice fish have been caught on dry flies for the fishermen willing to work hard and find those wary browns. 

Currently, bugs are hatching from near Townsend to up past Elkmont, but on the warmest days, the hatches are actually coming off pretty early.  Larger fish will be easiest to catch on those days that keep all but the diehards off the water.  Right now, the crowds are heavy on good days meaning you may be fishing used water.  Thankfully, during hatches at least, you can still catch fish even on "used" water.  This is the best time to fish if you are a relative Smokies novice as fly selection can be as simple as tying on a Parachute Adams.  However, closer inspection will often reveal the fish to be taking Blue Quills or Black Caddis in various stages. 

On a recent trip, I found a good hatch early in the day that dwindled to just a few stray bugs by early afternoon.  During the hatch, the dry fly action was fast and furious.  Before moving to another spot, I found a nice brown rising and got it to nail the dry.  The first cast produced one of the most stressful refusals I have ever had as the fish rocketed out of nowhere just beneath the fly only to vanish just as quickly.  The second cast must have been a better drift and a beautiful brown was soon posing for a quick photo.

 

The rainbows are fatter than I ever remember seeing a Smokies trout.  The high water that has kept the tailwaters off limits to wade fishermen has done wonders for the fish in the Park.  The warm winter probably helped as well.  Anyway, I expect the next few months to produce some of the best fishing in the Smokies in the last 10 years.  As soon as the tailwaters become fishable we should see similar epic fishing on them as well.  Get ready for a great fishing year!!!





4 comments:

  1. Oh David you are making me very wistful. We have to wait until our close season finishes. All Fools' Day is 33 days away but I have it all planned, it will be great. How could it be otherwise?

    Your photo at the bottom reminds me of the upper reaches of the river I fish most days in the season - the Derbyshire Wye.

    Regular Rod

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  2. Regular Rod, everytime someone tells me about living in a place with closed seasons it makes me glad that I don't have to worry about such things. Is your closed season mostly tradition that is now law or is it also just too cold?

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  3. David,

    Beautiful photos and great report. Looks like fun to be fooling those fish with dries. Looking forward to your spring break trip report too.

    Ben

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  4. Hi David!

    Really beautiful photos! Unfortunately I'm still waiting for the ice to melt a little more on the rivers and brooks to be able to go fly fishing. That comes with living in a place that can have nasty winters. Your photos and the stories of nice fly fishing makes it itch in my right arm longing for the opportunity to cast a fly or two.

    Have fun fly fishing and thanks for sharing the joy you experience,
    Mats Olsson

    ReplyDelete

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