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!
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