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...
UPDATE: 9/12/2016 Smokies Fly Fishing Report -- Current Hatches: Isonychias (aka Slate Drake or Mahogany Dun), Mahogany Duns (Paraleptophlebia), Little Yellow Stoneflies, Golden Stoneflies, Tan and Cinnamon Caddis, inch worms, beetles, and ants. Some cooler weather has been helping conditions in the Smokies. Nighttime lows are falling enough to keep the lower elevations close to fishable. Probably give them another week though and then it will be game on. Fish are eating fairly well. Yesterday's Little River Outfitters Day 2 School was successful with all of my students catching fish even with the low water conditions.
Caney Fork Fly Fishing Report: Our floats continue to churn out some really nice trout. See some of the recent blog entries below for more on that. I have some availability if you are looking for a guided trip so contact me about a float or wade trip if you want to enjoy this fishing at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com or call/text (931) 261-1884.
Clinch River Fishing Report: Flows are mostly up so heavy deep nymphing or streamer fishing will be the way to go during periods of generation. Look for fish eating terrestrials along the banks and especially in areas of soft water. On low water, think midges and long fine leaders. Dark seems to be the color although both dark and silver beads are working on the midges. I recommend strike indicators with hooks in them on low water. Last week I caught my best fish on a #14 Yellow Stimulator that was serving as my strike indicator.
Holston River: Give this river a break on the trout sections until next winter. Water temperatures on most of the trout water are elevated and fishing now will stress these beautiful fish.
Cumberland Plateau Fishing Report: Smallmouth bass fishing is good but the water is low. We have another week or two of warmer temperatures before the final turn towards cooler weather begins. Both topwater bugs and subsurface offerings are getting it done. Before we know it, the cooler weather of fall will have us chasing muskie again as well!