Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 11/29/2016

You have probably read about the fire disaster in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Gatlinburg. As of right now the Park is closed. Thank you to those who have contacted me to make sure that I'm okay. I'm blessed to not live close to the impacted area but am very sad over the devastation that many people are dealing with. The woods will heal quickly, but many people are now dealing with rebuilding their lives. Those scars will last much longer.

If you are interested in fishing, the Park should improve with the coming rainfall. Once it opens back up, fishing should be okay unless it gets really cold which is likely this time of year. Nymphing will be the way to go. A large fly like a stonefly and a small nymph like a blue-winged olive are a good idea in the winter. Next spring has the potential to feature some of the best hatches we've had in a while. That assumes we don't get tons of high water this winter which is nearly impossible to forecast ahead of time. That said, some of the best quill gordon hatches have happened during or just after drought years.

Fishing on the Caney Fork River should continue to be good through the cold months this year. We have had an incredible year on the river. While we can't hope for the river to fish this well every year, next spring and summer should be good as well unless we get long periods of high water.

Please avoid wading on gravel spawning areas. Those eggs have a good chance of making it through the next couple of months to hatch time if we don't have too much high water. This applies on the Caney Fork River and in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Photo of the Month: The Colors of a Rainbow

Photo of the Month: The Colors of a Rainbow

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Low and Slow


Those two words sum up my Caney Fork experience late this afternoon.  Rumors of minimal numbers of fish in the river needed to be tested, and I found it to be true, sorta.  The river still has fish in it, but overall I would say that the fishing was as slow as I've ever experienced there.  The water was unbelievably low.  I have no idea why the Corps is not at least running a 200 CFS sluice but something clearly needs to be done. 

Information from reliable sources suggests that trout stocking has not really been taking place much over the winter months because of poor water quality.  The water seemed unusually warm to me for this early in the year, and I can only hope there is enough cool water in the lake as we head into the warm months to support trout through until next winter.  At least some big fish have survived but the larger rainbows in particular seem to have taken a hit.

The good news is that the fish will still eat.  Good midge hatches are happening on the upper river.  You will notice right away that the birds are working above the water for their food.  The other thing you will notice is the distinct lack of rising fish.  If you go, focus on the deeper water and on the shoals where faster water funnels into the deeper runs.  Midges and sow bugs will catch some fish...

If you really want to fish, there are still fish to be caught but until the flows improve, expect to work hard for every fish.  The low clear water produces some very spooky trout.  The fish you do catch will all be healthy looking fish with their fins intact, at least until the stocking truck shows up.  Don't expect big numbers of fish, but at least you're out on the water.

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