Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 12/3/2019

Winter fishing is nearly upon us. Snow yesterday has given way to falling water temperatures in the Smokies. In general, fish will be hunkered down, although by tomorrow they should start to get more active again as temperatures warm. For the next three months, expect many more fish in the slower places in the Park. Think nymphs and maybe streamers but don't be surprised to find fish rising to blue-winged olives or midges on some days.

On tailwaters like the Clinch, brown trout and some fall spawn rainbows are doing their thing. This is a good time to review good ethics when it comes to spawning trout. Remember that these are the next generation of trout and the best thing you can do is to leave them alone. Avoid wading through spawning areas and don't fish for obvious spawners. For the foreseeable future, we should have high water thanks to big rains this last weekend. Fishing out of the drift boat will be very good through the winter with both nymphing and streamer fishing a distinct possibility. Want to swing for the fences and go for just one monster? Streamers will just get better and better going into January and February.

The Caney is slowly coming around. A few shad are coming through the dam, but lingering water quality problems are limiting the fishing. Winter streamer floats will produce shots at larger brown trout for anglers willing to work hard. Next spring should bring good fishing again.

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: Big Fish Chuck Strikes Again

Photo of the Month: Big Fish Chuck Strikes Again

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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