Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 09/04/2019

Fishing has slowed down in some places and heated up in others. Smallmouth bass fishing on the streams of the Cumberland Plateau has been good to excellent while the tailwaters have slowed down somewhat.

In the Smokies, streams are getting low and warm. Stick with mid and high elevation streams for now until we get some rain and cooler weather. Right now it looks like this will probably last for another week although we do have some rain forecast next week. Let's hope that happens! A variety of bugs are working here, but lean heavily on your terrestrial box. Yellow Stimulators in particular have also been good lately.

The Caney Fork continues to produce a few fish here and there. Stripers are still thick in the river which isn't helping the trout at all. As long as things stay dry, this will be a viable option. There are a few large fish present if you know where to look. Yesterday's big fish was a 21.5" rainbow caught while sight fishing. Don't expect that every day, but if you're prepared to put in your time, there are good fish to be caught (and released!!!).

The Clinch seems to be in the middle of the annual late summer drawdown of Norris Lake. High water will be the norm here for the next few weeks. If you don't have a boat, then don't bother except, possibly, during early mornings. Weekends are offering some morning windows but crowds will generally be thick as well.

Fall fishing is not far off. The Clinch should fish well unless we have a wet fall. Sometime between mid October and early November, we should see flows start to come down. The Smokies are my personal favorite for fall fishing. The fish will be hungry and maybe even looking up!

Photo of the Month: Guide Trip Fish of the Year for the Smokies

Photo of the Month: Guide Trip Fish of the Year for the Smokies

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

This is Home


Thanksgiving is a time to spend with friends and family.  This year it was also a time for me to return home after the big move to Colorado this past summer.  The priority for my trip was to spend time with friends and family but a side trip to the Smokies was also in order.  The Smokies are and always will be my favorite place.  Sure, when I'm knee deep in a Colorado river catching 20" trout, it may be tough to think too hard about why the Smokies are better.  Still, I will always consider the streams of the Smokies to be my original home water, the place where I learned to cast a fly rod and fool a few fish, and also the place where I took innumerable camping trips as a kid and got into backpacking as I grew older.  

The pool above is one of my favorites.  When someone talks about their favorite pool, they normally launch into a story of a monster fish caught there or some other memorable occurrence.  For me, its more about the fish I didn't catch.  Yep, there are some monsters in there, and I even saw one on my visit.  However, it is also one of the most fished pools in the river and it does not give up its trout easily.  

By the time I reached this pool with my buddy Jayson, we were starting to grow weary of the search for big fish.  Several large fish had already been spotted and even fished to, but they were far too spooky and we had come to that point where the stench of skunk was wafting our way.  Never to fear, the rainbows of the Smokies always seem hungry.  

On this day, nearly every big pool had lots of rainbows sitting high in the water column rising to midges and the occasional BWO.  I had tied up a collection of tiny parachute BWOs early this fall after getting into a great hatch on Clear Creek above Golden.  Rather proud of the little flies I had coaxed out of feathers and dubbing, I was happy for the chance to tie one on.  My buddy Jayson had already made the switch and missed a couple of nice rainbows and landed a couple more.  He had also caught an elusive brown.  It was not the monster we had originally hoped for but was still nice to see.


The four weight was in the car ready to be put together but I was slightly lazy and stuck with my 5 weight Legend Ultra.  Extending the leader to 6x tippet, I tied the fly on and started casting.  The trout were sitting just out of the fast current, waiting for the bugs they somehow knew were coming.  My fly must have been tasty looking.  In the first 6 casts I had 6 hits but no fish!!!  Nevermind that dilemma though because when fish are feeding this well you know it will happen.  

Of course, it eventually did.  I was happy to hold and admire one of the gems of the Smokies again.  Yes, the Smokies and Tennessee are home I thought as I watched the fish dart away.  A few rainbows later, I was ready to head back home and spend more time with those I don't get to see very often anymore.  Another time, I'll be back and spend more time in the Smokies.  Until then, I can keep remembering all the good times...


2 comments:

  1. It's sure nice to hear you got back home for the holiday David. I think we all have one of "those" special places that we need to get back to once in awhile.

    ReplyDelete
  2. James W8:39 PM

    Yes! - Motivation to head to the Park. It's easy to lose ambition this time of the year with cool weather and short days, but there isn't a much better time to be on the water. Thanks for sharing and glad you made it home for a few days.

    ReplyDelete

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