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

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Exploring the South Platte

Now almost a week and a half ago, my break is quickly becoming a receding memory.  Still, the pictures provide great entertainment and take me away to some of the most beautiful scenery Colorado has to offer.  After Thursday's trip to chase big browns, I had some exploring planned.  It would be off to check out the South Platte with a couple of different goals.  First and foremost, this was a scouting trip, and my goal was to check out the Dream Stream for big lake-run browns.  Second, I wanted to see some new to me scenery as well as figure out how long I could count on the trip to the Dream Stream taking me.

In the end, the scenery won out over the fishing.  I shot several pictures over the course of the day and was quite impressed with the beauty of the area.



The scouting was, well, scouting.  Lots and lots of walking and looking and walking some more.  The crowds were huge but fish really weren't being caught except for one very nice brown I saw landed that looked to be in the 22-24 inch range.  In fact, I spent far more time looking than fishing and was glad to finally call it quits.

Only rarely am I glad to stop fishing but much more challenging than a lack of large fish was the brutal wind.  It was howling (literally) out of the west to the point where I was exhausted just from walking through the wind.  Still, it had been a good day and if I stopped completely at this point I would have been happy.  Instead, I went searching for redemption.

I just wanted to catch a fish, any fish.  Eleven Mile Canyon contains some beautiful water, and I remembered doing well there during my previous visit to the area.  On the way, I found some aspen at what I would consider to be peak colors.


Finishing my descent into the canyon, I started upriver and soon came to a big pool I remembered quite well.  Fish were lined up sipping something small off the surface.  The wind was much better in the shelter of the canyon walls.  Parking the car and changing my rig for small dry flies, I was soon casting.  However, the five weight line slapping the gentle autumn flows was too much for the trout and I watched as one by one, they disappeared to wherever fish hide when some crazy fisherman is flogging the water.  Changing to 6x and smaller flies, I continued looking for feeding trout.

In the pocket water, lots of fish were feeding. and I suspected that I might have better luck in the faster flows.  Nice fish kept spooking, reminding me that I was definitely NOT on top of my game.  Finally, starting back down towards the car, I was ready to call it a day.  Then I saw one more fish.

Three casts later, I saw it move towards where I suspected my fly was.  It turned abruptly so I set the hook.  Finally, a trout.  Even better, it turned out to be a brown trout!  On most days I would be unhappy to catch just one fish, but on this day of minimal fishing and lots of scouting, I was glad to finally hook one.



4 comments:

  1. Well, considering the circumstances I think that 1 trout was a pretty good job this day.

    Regards,
    M.O.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree!!! Definitely a good day out even without lots of fish...

      Delete
  2. Anonymous12:30 PM

    David, thanks for sharing your exploration down in South Platte country. Beautiful time of the year to be out even if the fishing plays second fiddle. Sometime, will have to get down that way and see for myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mel, that is a fun stream to fish for sure. I had previously only fished it once in the summer. It is a technical stream for sure but still a lot of fun...

      Delete

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