Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 01/22/2020

High flows continue across the area but trends are definitely down. A recent cold snap broke the ongoing heatwave so fishing in the mountains has slowed dramatically. Right on schedule, some of our tailwaters should begin returning to more normal flows for this time of year meaning float trips are certainly possible.

For the Smokies, a warming trend should commence as we go into next week. By mid week the fishing should be decent before the next cold front returns us back to winter again. On warmer days, look for midges and possibly winter stoneflies hatching. Some blue-winged olives will be possible on foul weather days as we head towards February. The best fishing is still a few weeks out, but no longer feels like an eternity. Expect good spring hatches to start in late February or early March with blue quills and quill gordons along with little black caddis and early brown and black stones. By April, things will be settling down with the pinnacle of spring fishing usually happening from mid April through the month of May.

On our area tailwaters, high water continues to be the story. The Caney Fork still has at least a couple of weeks of high flows and that is assuming we don't get any more heavy rainfall. This time of year, that is asking a lot. The high water is good for one thing, however. Shad. Yes, the cold months are prime time to try and hit the famed shad kill and catch a monster brown trout. Same thing goes for the Clinch.

Speaking of the Clinch, the good news is that flows are scheduled to begin dropping tomorrow. A steady two generators will feel like low water after the recent period of two generators plus sluicing. Two generators opens up some nymphing possibilities in addition to our favorite winter pastime, stripping streamers for monsters.

The musky streams are settling into fine shape and will be an option moving forward as well. Remember that bouts of high water will get them stained or even muddy for a few days, but as flows come down the fishing should pick back up.

Photo of the Month: Starting the Year Off Right

Photo of the Month: Starting the Year Off Right

Monday, April 30, 2012

Tailwater Diversity

One benefit of the Tennessee tailwaters is that they normally contain more than just trout and char species.  In fact, many Tennessee tailwaters are not trout streams but that is not my point.  On any given day, you can fish a river in Tennessee and have a good shot at catching rainbow, brown, and brook trout, as well chances at smallmouth, largemouth, bluegill and other sunfish, carp, walleye, stripers, white bass, hybrids, yellow bass, musky.....I hope you begin to see my point.  There are many possibilities when it comes to fishing here in Tennessee.  On a recent float with David Perry, we came across a lot of nice fish that included but was not limited to trout.
 

A recent stocking of small brown trout got us in the game early.  The fish were already aggressive and willing to chase flies nearly as large as themselves.  Our main goal was to catch larger fish though.  As the weather warms, we are thinking more and more of carp.  Sure enough, as we drifted down the river we started to find them stacked up in the pools with little or no current.  With a long float ahead, we didn't play with them for long.  Next time we'll hook one though... 

The white bass were another story.  We found them stacked up in similar water as the carp, just a little closer to the current.  White bass are nice when the fishing is slow, but can get frustrating when they are running because they are almost too easy to catch.
 


Later, we got onto some more trout.  Both of us caught some nice rainbows and we started noticing a little hatch coming off.  Light colored bugs were flying around.  It appeared that both Light Cahill's and Sulphurs were hatching and the fish were pretty excited.
 


Photograph by David Perry

We are early enough in the hatch that nymphs will still produce more strikes than the dries will.  After David P. had caught more than his share of rainbows, I moved to the front of the boat.  Not far down the river, I cast to a favorite log.  Sure enough, the indicator dove under.  I lifted the rod tip expecting another 14" rainbow.  A swirl of golden brown on the other end hinted at my favorite, an elusive brown trout.  As I fought the fish, I thought it was about 14".  However, as the fight continued, that estimate kept going up.  When we landed the fish, it was definitely larger than 14"!  After the necessary pictures, the beautiful male swam away, hopefully to grow a few more inches before I catch him again.
 
Photograph by David Perry 

Photograph by David Perry 

Photograph by David Perry

As I turned to look around me and enjoy the moment, the sun broke through the clouds and lit up my surroundings with that rich evening light.  Out came the camera.  The bugs were still hatching and I took pictures of them as well.
 



Catching big fish usually lands the angler at the rower's bench.  I climbed into the boat and started guiding David P. down the river again.  The bluegill got active and we added another species to the list for the day. 


The sun was casting its rays across the sky, and I let the boat slowly spin in circles as I clicked away with the camera.


1 comment:

  1. Diverse? I'll say. Nice pictures. I could use a brown like that one.

    Mark

    ReplyDelete

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