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, November 11, 2012

Late Season Opportunities

While winter is rapidly approaching, the weather is still bi-polar.  The cold season has not yet arrived in force, meaning that one weekend is perfect with highs in the 60s on the plains and 50s in the mountains and the next weekend it snows with frigid overnight lows.  Last weekend was one of the good weekends, at least if you're an angler.  I made it to the mountains to a favorite stream to chase the browns.


Watching a fish get fired up over a streamer is one of my favorite aspects of the sport.  Accordingly, I headed to a stretch where I could toss some streamers and see what would happen.  In the first pool, I watched a fish shoot out of the back of the deepest part to attack my streamer.  Somehow it couldn't find the hook though.  Several casts later, with the fish repeating its behavior, I finally just gave up and moved to a different spot.  Sometimes fish just want to chase but not eat.

Over the next couple of hours, I covered a ton of water.  Several nice fish were out and about and a few smaller ones were even on redds.  The largest fish I saw made me gasp in amazement at how a fish of well over 20 inches could live in such small water.  In another spot, I watched a pod of big runner browns swimming in circles in a big pool, just waiting for the right moment to move up and spawn.

The fish that I hooked all wanted to attack whichever streamer I happened to have on at the moment.  Others had the same idea, but streamer fishing is not usually a high percentage game.  I generally expect a lot of follows, refusals, and the usual swing and a miss.  Enough fish found the hook though to keep me interested.


Later in the day, I moved on to a more sheltered stretch of stream and hoped for some blue-winged olives.  The hatch didn't develop, or perhaps I was too late.  A few stray midges were coming off, and I did trick one small brown on a midge, but that was it.  The consolation was a great sunset and beautiful reflected light on the stream.  I spent more time behind my camera lens than fishing during the late day hours...



9 comments:

  1. This may be a very dumb question, but I don't live near a trout stream and only get the opportunity to fish them every couple of months or so. But how do you know if a trout is on the red? Will they build a nest out of gravel?

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    1. Atlas, you are correct, they build a next out of gravel. Generally you will find them in the tail of pools and riffles where the smaller gravel is. The female will dig out a hollow in the gravel which is a fairly obvious depression in the streambed. You can find areas the fish have been spawning or preparing nests because the gravel is a lot cleaner there compared to everywhere else usually. Somewhere I have some pictures of fish on or close to redds. If I can find them I'll try to put a post together about it...

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    2. Thank you for the information and your response. I would greatly appreciate that.

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  2. Hi David. I nudged Howard to take you along when he fishes Boulder Creek with the creel attached. Looking forward to the video if caves and takes you.

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    Replies
    1. Mark, it should be a pretty good adventure and probably an even better video... :D

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  3. the pictures here look so cool.

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  4. I'll be up for it as soon as I can pull myself out of my rocker. I'm looking forward to meeting David. I think I can teach him a bit...about photography,(not!) fishing, (not!!) or women, (definitely not!!!) Oh well, I'll buy the beers.

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    Replies
    1. We'll definitely have a good time fishing together sometime. Now if next spring can just hurry up...

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