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, May 14, 2012

Partial Trip

Getting out in the Smokies is an opportunity that is not to be missed.  This past weekend's trip was special, a trip into the backcountry.  As much as I love backpacking, I don't do it often enough.  However, there is one aspect of backpacking that I really don't enjoy: going in the rain.

With the forecast practically guaranteeing a downpour, I opted to stay away from the overnight portion of my trip.  The messy forecast actually had me excited about the fishing though.  Hatching insects and nasty weather tend to go hand in hand.  I was supposed to fish with a new fishing buddy and he was not afraid of the forecast so the trip was still a go for Sunday.

The anticipation was building to the point where it was hard for me to go to sleep.  When it is after 11:00 p.m. and the alarm is set for 4:00 a.m., the logical side of my brain insists that I fall asleep.  As soon as your brain insists, the body rebels and the vicious cycle spirals out of control.  Sometime close to midnight I finally drifted off.  The alarm woke me up rudely.  As I moved around the house, my brain began to clear and the excitement returned. 

Arriving in the Park, we opted to head up Little River trail.  Our original plan was to hike a ways up but with the bad weather we knew that the stream would probably be ours for the day.  Accordingly we started fishing without going too far.
 
Somewhere on Little River...

Breck wanted to try some new techniques, especially fishing nymphs using the "high stick" style so common in the southern Appalachians.  I rigged up with a double nymph rig and set him up with a single bead head Tellico.  During my quick demonstration of the technique I landed two nice rainbows and we were off and running.  He quickly hooked and landed his first rainbow with the new technique and then we worked up the stream, taking turns at likely spots.
 
Breck fishing a nice pocket

As the rain continued to come and go, the insects became more and more active.  Finally we couldn't stand it any longer and tied on the dry flies.  After a couple of fish, it was obvious that while we could catch a few on top, the primary method for the day was nymph fishing. 

Later, after Breck had to leave in the early afternoon, I tried some new spots out.  The plan worked out perfectly.  Numerous mayflies and stoneflies were hatching and after picking up some really nice rainbows and missing a couple of larger browns on nymphs, I switched over to dries.
 
Rainbow caught nymphing a deep run 

Brown trout and dry flies!!!

This was the perfect way to end the day.  I caught a couple of browns on top and finally the previous late night and early morning caught up to me.  With daylight still left I opted to head on home before I fell asleep on my feet.  Thankfully, I managed to stay awake long enough to stop and spend a little time with my mom for Mother's Day.  When I finally fell asleep it was the sleep of exhaustion from a day well spent.   

1 comment:

  1. What is really the definition of fishing in the smokies? Being in smokey mtn national park? Or would you consider just being in the Western Appalachians the smokies? I'm not a huge fan of fishing in the rain especially if it's cold.

    ReplyDelete

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