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

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Return

Trout streams have a way of drawing me back again and again.  Sometimes I go back to the same spot again and again and usually for different reasons ranging from a big fish I've spotted to just nostalgia.  Other times I return to the same stream but desire a new stretch of water, something still vaguely familiar and comfortable yet refreshingly different all at once.

Last week, after spotting a big brown on Sunday, I started plotting my return.  With fall break looming, I originally planned on fishing with Juan of Hopper Juan Fame.  As a hard working guide and tier, he could only get away one day so I planned to camp somewhere near the South Platte or Arkansas and "pre-fish" on Thursday before meeting up with him on Friday.  The phenomenal fishing on Sunday changed my plans however.  I figured I would just fish on Rocky Mountain National Park on Thursday and take a day trip down to the South Platte or Arkansas on Friday.  About the time I decided to adjust my plans, other circumstances intervened to cancel our fishing trip this time so I was now fully committed to making a day of it on Thursday.  If I had energy left, I might still explore solo down along the South Platte on Friday.

Arriving at the first stream, I quickly rigged up and began fishing.  A short time and a few fish later, I decided to head to the other stream and look for that big brown.  As always, driving around in the Park is a great experience.  Elk were everywhere although when I'm heading off to fish, the wildlife are just a nuisance that slow drivers in front of me down.  Its hard to complain about being in the wild though and I thoroughly enjoyed the drive to my next fishing hole.

Finding no one where I wanted to fish at the next spot, I changed flies to something that a big brown would probably enjoy.  I cast into the pool, once, twice...the big brown hit like a freight train, appearing almost magically from wherever he had been lurking.  My eyes had been glued to the rock he shot out from other the previous trip so I know he had been hiding in a new spot.  Whatever the case, I was now VERY glad for the heavy 1x tippet I was fishing and quickly fought the fish into the shallows.  Time should never be wasted in fighting a fish you plan to release and this fish was no exception.

I posed for a couple of quick pictures which my friend Catherine graciously took for me so I could keep the fish in the water as much as possible.  It was a beautiful brown and definitely made my day!

Catherine McGrath Photograph 

Catherine McGrath Photograph

Despite fishing some more, and even catching some more nice fish, nothing would surpass returning to catch a big brown I had spotted previously.  The rest of the day was spent exploring some new areas which included driving the long way home.  As always here in Colorado, the scenery impressed but I was already considering my next day's adventure...


12 comments:

  1. Well done David. Nice job on putting the work in to go back and fool that beautiful fish.

    Ben

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    1. Thanks Ben! Returning to catch a spotted big fish is one of my favorite things in this sport...

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  2. Nice! I sure wished we could have made the trip but.... Next time. That is a good looking brown and hard to beat anywhere you go.

    Juan

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    1. Juan, will be looking for to another opportunity to fish together. And thanks! I was pretty happy about that fish.

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  3. Lovely scenery and a beautiful brown trout! Yes, spotting a big trout makes you want to go back to see if it's still there and naturally if you can get him to take. I have a lot of places of returns but unfortunately some of them have been ruined one way or the other by humans that cannot leave the places as they found them. Sad but true. Glad you got your big brown!
    My best,
    M.O.

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    1. M.O., that is always frustrating when you find your favorite spot trashed because someone was careless. I've seen that too much in my life...

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  4. Anonymous1:42 PM

    David, isn't that really what flyfishing is all about? The Dream, the Implementaion of your Plan, and, the Realization that your Dream came true when your Plan was successfully Implemented! Congratulations on that big Brownie!

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    Replies
    1. Mel, that is definitely a great summary of fly fishing! I think I might have to chase the dream again this afternoon...

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  5. Nice going David. Mel and I are anxious for some lessons.

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    1. Howard, I'm looking forward to a chance to hang out with you guys. I'm sure you can show me a thing or two about fishing here in Colorado...

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  6. Absolutely beautiful Brown! Hard to beat any day where that is the result.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Atlas! It definitely made my day...

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