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

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Soooooo Tired

Every year it gets more difficult and yet I still continue to start, and often finish, epic trips with no where near enough sleep.  The trip to the Everglades was no exception.  We planned well in advance that to maximize time on the water, we should leave Thursday afternoon as soon as school let out for break.  Somehow, I usually end up driving on these long trips.  So when my driving shift came up around 1:30 at night and I hadn't really slept on the way down yet, I figured I might as well get comfortable and settle in for the long haul. 

Hours and many miles later, I was cruising through the gradually awakening world southwest of Orlando.  We had dropped a friend off there, and while it was slightly out of the way, we made it through early enough that it didn't really slow us down too much.  The stress began to build as the sun climbed higher and higher though. 

The Everglades National Park has a thoroughly ridiculous policy that you can only reserve a campsite in person up to 24 hours in advance of your trip, and furthermore that you must reserve any site you plan on using.  Thus, it is always a distinct possibility for visitors to the Park to arrive only to learn that your itinerary will NOT work.  By the time we arrived at the Ranger Station, I was convinced that our trip would probably be in vain and we would not get our site.  This was due to two reasons: first, because I was exhausted and probably not viewing the glass as half full, having been awake since the previous morning around 6:00 am, and secondly because we arrived around 1:30 in the afternoon.  Most of the time this would be far too late during peak paddling season. 

Incredibly, despite our worries, our whole itinerary was totally open.  The list was as follows: first night at Lopez River, second night at Darwin's Place, third and fourth nights at Lostman's Five, fifth night at New Turkey Key, and sixth night at Rabbit Key.  The plan enabled us to experience a little bit of everything, or at least nearly everything, that the Everglades have to offer from remote backcountry bays to mangrove tunnels on Charlie Creek to big water paddling on large bays at the edge of the Gulf of Mexico and camping on beaches. 

I was so tired that I really didn't even think of getting out my camera until sometime during the second day.  Suddenly it occured to me that it might be nice to document the trip and I started shooting as often as conditions allowed.  My first shots were of the wide open bays on the upper end of the Wilderness Waterway as we paddled towards Darwin's Place campsite.  Mangrove is on every horizon here. 


The next morning I remembered to shoot a few pictures of camp as well as the scenery around it.  After a couple nights of good sleep, I was feeling much better and ready to really start enjoying the trip!




1 comment:

  1. A buddy and I went there a few years ago (at least 10) and canoe-camped. We stayed at Darwin's place and at Rabbit Key also. A few different stops in between. It was an awesome and memorable trip.

    --Matt

    ReplyDelete

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