FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 2/11/2017
Fishing has been good lately, both in the Smokies and on the tailwaters. I have been privileged to spend time on both tailwaters and in the Smokies recently. Up in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a few bugs are showing up with the warm weather we've been experiencing. With temperatures supposed to be cooling again this week, I don't expect huge hatches. That said, blue quills, early brown stoneflies, little black stoneflies, and probably some little black caddis should be trickling off. This will be especially true when we get a string of warm days. Quill gordon mayflies are not far behind now with the warm winter we've had.
On the tailwaters, the fishing has been mostly good. The Caney Fork is fishing well on streamer floats. Some high water nymphing is picking up a few fish as well. Several people have taken advantage of my special February tailwater trip to book streamer floats. If you haven't a clue what I'm talking about, sign up for my newsletter so you can stay informed about specials on guide trips and other things.
Now is the time to start thinking about spring fishing. The bookings are rolling in for float trips on the Caney Fork. Spring hatch trips in the Smokies will book quickly as well so contact me soon if you want to get out in 2017!
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