Today I caught my last trout on the 2011-2012 Tennessee fishing license. Until our state becomes enlightened and switches to a different system in which a license is good for a year from the purchase date, the end of February will continue to be time for a new license. After the quick fishing excursion I stopped for a new license.
The fishing was not exactly as I planned. Upon arriving at the lake, I discovered that a threatened drawdown of the lake level for some bridge repairs had already commenced. The fish were not going to be in the expected places, but that just makes the game a little more interesting. Exploring in a couple of new spots brought continued disappointment until just before time to leave. As I was thinking about heading to the car, I spotted what looked like a rise ring. Of course, all such things must be investigated.
On the first cast, a nice healthy rainbow nailed my small beadhead simi seal leech and gave the 3 weight I was using a good workout. Pausing to appreciate the moment, I realized how tranquil the water was and enjoyed the reflection of the forest above. For the rest of this week, I'll be tying and packing for the Everglades. For real this time...no more fishing until Florida...
FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 3/23/2017
The fishing has been great lately! This spring has been phenomenal in the Smokies. Long hatches have produced dry fly fishing lasting for hours every day. The Caney Fork has been producing some great fish on high water.
In the Great Smoky Mountains, the spring fishing has started early this year. Quill Gordon (#12-#14) and Blue Quill (#16-#18) mayflies are starting to transition into Hendricksons (#12-#14). On foul weather days, the Blue-winged Olives (#18-#22) have literally poured off of the river. The recent cooler weather actually enhanced the dry fly fishing. The bugs have been having a harder time getting off of the water, so despite the cool water temperature, fish have been rising lazily through an extended afternoon hatch. Little Black Caddis (#18-#20) have been hatching well along with some Early Brown Stoneflies (#12).
On the tailwaters, the fishing has been decent to good. The Clinch is fishing well along with the Holston. The Caney Fork continues to be my river of choice, however. Streamer trips continue to produce and we are doing some high water nymphing as well. This is as good a time as any to have a shot at large rainbow and brown trout on this tailwater!
I still have some open dates for guided trips in April and May, but the calendar is filling fast. I've been turning away trips because people wait too long to book. Don't make that mistake!