UPDATE: 1/31/2016 Smokies Fly Fishing Report -- Warm temperatures the past few days have warmed the streams some although snowmelt from the last big snowstorm has kept a lid on water temperatures. Fishing was slow yesterday but improved quite a lot today. There were even some nice browns caught today! Most of the time nymphs will get the job done although there were reports of some trout rising to BWOs and midges the past few days so keep an eye out for noses. The next two days will feature good fishing until the next big front ushers in colder temperatures and brings the potential for heavy rain. In the extended forecast, it looks like winter will return in force so don't expect early spring hatches during the next couple of weeks.
Caney Fork Fly Fishing Report: Flows are still high and heavy rain is forecast on Tuesday so don't expect wadeable flows anytime soon. The streamer fishing should keep things interesting though. The cold months are streamer season for this river so contact me about a float trip if you want to enjoy this fishing at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com or call/text (931) 261-1884.
Cumberland Plateau Fishing Report: The musky streams warmed nicely over the last couple of days and flows are dropping into the sweet spot...just in time for another round of heavy rain on Tuesday. If you can get out on tomorrow you might turn some nice fish, otherwise I would wait another week or two depending on how much rain we get on Tuesday into Tuesday night.
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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.
Posted by David Knapp at 9:18 PM