Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 01/08/2019

In the Smokies, fishing has been good to great with unseasonably mild temperatures. With colder weather in store over the next couple of days, expect the fishing to drop off a bit. In other words, things will be more like normal winter fishing conditions in the short term. At some point we expect winter to return for real as well, but time will tell on that one.

On the tailwaters, we are dealing with massive amounts of water with no end in sight. The Caney Fork and Clinch Rivers are both rolling at very high levels. While a few fish can certainly be found on each of these, there are safer and better places to catch a few trout. The one bit of good news here? The reservoirs seem to be mostly falling now so somewhere down the road we might get better flows again.

Musky fishing should be starting to turn on. Flows are starting to drop into what we consider to be the sweet spot on our favorite rivers. Check back for more on this as we have time to get out on the water.

Photo of the Month: Cold Weather Jaws

Photo of the Month: Cold Weather Jaws

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

More Firsts! Getting Started with Everglades Fishing

On the trip to the Everglades, I was excited about my second taste of saltwater fishing.  Knowing very little about fishing the salt, I decided that I wanted to catch snook.  Why snook in particular?  People have explained snook to me as the brown trout of the saltwater.  That made sense and helped me understand what to do. 

Snook are ambush predators, lurking around mangrove roots and waiting for baitfish to come by.  Brown trout lay just out of current and I figured snook might do the same.  The second day of the trip dawned bright and promised to be very warm.  We loaded the canoes and I strung the fly rod together, deciding to start with a white stealth bomber (tricked out with flash and rubber legs).  I'm learning to really appreciate the noise making ability of this fly.  Furthermore, it dives and swoons in the water, looking just like a struggling baitfish or something else that is edible.

As we got under way with the day's paddle, I really wanted to get my first fish out of the way so I could relax.  Not knowing what else to do, I started thinking in terms of brown trout.  Paddling towards a creek that led to the next large bay, I noticed the tide had started moving in.  The current was moving around a distinct point just ahead, creating a seam between fast and slow water.  "Perfect," I thought and picked up the rod to cast. 

Amazingly, it only took about 5 casts to get that first fish.  As I fought it closer to the boat I saw that it was a snook!  Not a large fish, but a snook nonetheless.  Two years ago, estimates say that 70% of the snook in the Glades area were killed by the extremely cold winter.  I knew that meant the majority of the fish I did find would be smaller fish.  Since I've never caught any, I didn't care if they were small or large.  I was just happy to be catching fish.

Catherine McGrath Photograph 

Shortly after the snook, I found a school of ladyfish and had fun catching a few before it was time to paddle on.  As the trip wore on, I would become frustrated with the ladyfish because they were hard to keep off my flies.  Still, it is better to be catching something than to be going fishless...

Catherine McGrath Photograph

More fishing opportunities awaited deeper in the Everglades.  But in the meantime we had a brutal paddle ahead to reach our next campsite.  I put down the fly rod, not to take it up again until evening.

6 comments:

  1. Interesting. I always caught Snook on live bait, but I guess they take a fly just as well.

    Mark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mark, I'll bet you caught some big fish that way. What sorts of live bait did you use?

      Delete
  2. What kind of rod/leader/fly etc are you using?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Matthew, I was using a 7 weight TFO TiCr-X with a floating line. Approximately 9 foot leader of my own devising along with 30 pound fluoro as a bite guard. The fly of choice was a white Stealth Bomber...

    ReplyDelete

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