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

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Spooky Browns

Meadow streams are my favorite, well, other than big tailwaters with big trout, but then there are small mountain streams, or how about mountain lakes?  I guess I really just like to fish, but seriously, fishing meadow streams for brown trout is high on my list of favorites.  Its a game of stealth, meaning I have to be on top of my game because the fish are not forgiving to blown casts or heavy footsteps.

Last Sunday was a perfect day for meadow fishing.  I was able to explore some new water for the first time and chase big browns all at the same time.  What more can you ask for?  The day was bright and sunny, definitely challenging conditions but one of my favorites due to my style of fishing.


When I arrived at the stream, I messed around near the car for just a few casts to get my muscles warmed up and ready for the challenge.  Walking up the meadow to really begin fishing, I passed another angler.  We exchanged the usual pleasantries before he mentioned that the fishing was slow and he had been unable to get any to eat.  Oh well, I know ways around that problem.

Moving up through the meadow, I started on a section of water without anyone else around.  Before long, I approached a good looking undercut bank.  The cast was spot-on and a nice little brown shot out from under the bank to inhale the fly.  I was fishing my 9' 5 weight for the extra reach and backbone in case I stuck a pig.  Just upstream, a slightly larger fish hit.  I paused long enough for a quick shot to help me remember the beautiful colors.


Fish after fish charged out to take the flies I offered, mostly brown trout between 8-12 inches but a few fish in the 13"-14" range kept things interesting.  The best fish of the day hit in a deep hole and came flying out from the shade alongside the bank.  It stared my fly down just long enough to make me breathe a sigh of relief when it hit.  I didn't even realize I had been holding my breath...


Later, a truly big fish in the 22"-24" range moseyed out to investigate my fly before fading into the deepest part of the pool to sulk on the bottom.  These are the fish that keep me going back to meadow streams.  Rarely seen, its even more rare to actually hook one.  Optimism will keep me going back though.  Hopefully I'll be on the water again this next weekend.  I'm tempted by the high country lakes but those browns are calling as well.  So many options but never enough time!!!




3 comments:

  1. David, wonderful photos and great backdrop for a fine fishing trip. Nice going.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Howard, the backdrop was incredible for sure! One of those places I enjoy visiting and hate to leave...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous11:17 PM

    Davudm great work hooking and landing some beautiful Brownies'. Great camera work, too. Every picture tells a story!

    ReplyDelete

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