FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 3/23/2017
The fishing has been great lately! This spring has been phenomenal in the Smokies. Long hatches have produced dry fly fishing lasting for hours every day. The Caney Fork has been producing some great fish on high water.
In the Great Smoky Mountains, the spring fishing has started early this year. Quill Gordon (#12-#14) and Blue Quill (#16-#18) mayflies are starting to transition into Hendricksons (#12-#14). On foul weather days, the Blue-winged Olives (#18-#22) have literally poured off of the river. The recent cooler weather actually enhanced the dry fly fishing. The bugs have been having a harder time getting off of the water, so despite the cool water temperature, fish have been rising lazily through an extended afternoon hatch. Little Black Caddis (#18-#20) have been hatching well along with some Early Brown Stoneflies (#12).
On the tailwaters, the fishing has been decent to good. The Clinch is fishing well along with the Holston. The Caney Fork continues to be my river of choice, however. Streamer trips continue to produce and we are doing some high water nymphing as well. This is as good a time as any to have a shot at large rainbow and brown trout on this tailwater!
I still have some open dates for guided trips in April and May, but the calendar is filling fast. I've been turning away trips because people wait too long to book. Don't make that mistake!
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