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

Friday, November 30, 2012

Under the Ice

Despite little snow, high elevation streams and lakes are freezing over quite nicely.  Before Thanksgiving, I was up in Rocky Mountain National Park with a friend visiting from out-of-state.  The camera came along as well so I had some fun behind the lens.  This is at least a little bit fishing related because I scouted/photographed the Big Thompson in Moraine Park as well as other area waters.  Those other waters provided the most interesting aspect (from a fisherman's standpoint anyway) of the trip, but Moraine Park was beautiful with this different look.


The majority of the water is covered with a solid sheet of ice but the riffles were still open as were a few sheltered pools (or at least parts of them).  Before heading to Moraine Park, we had driven through everything that was open to vehicle access. The sun hitting the peaks around the Roaring River produced some dramatic scenery.


My buddy Lo-Ammi enjoyed all the scenery and took a lot of pictures as well.  Can you find him taking pictures in this photograph?


I finally got him to pose.


Turning away from the silhouette pictures, I saw what would be the last rays from the sun touching the tops of the mountains behind me.  Minutes after taking this picture, the clouds moved in permanently for the rest of the afternoon.


After taking the above pictures, we headed to Moraine Park, hoping to find some elk.  The critters were hunkered down somewhere in the woods I suspect but I did have fun walking the stream banks and taking a lot of pictures.





The ice made beautifully intricate patterns in places while in others it was just a solid glazed mass.


In places, the rushing water had carved under ice shelves to create some interesting shapes.  The contrast between the rolling water, ice, and golden grass behind is simple yet beautiful in its own right.  Under the ice shelf, the water was constantly splashing and thus creating ever growing icicles.



I probably could have continued wandering through the fields forever if it hadn't of been for friends waiting in a warm car.  Remembering that we still had places to see, I turned back after one last shot of a bend pool that is productive under warmer and more liquid circumstances.


Back on the road, I guided the car towards a lake that we were pretty sure would be ice covered.  Scenic, but in a different way than summer, the lake invited us to ice skate.  Unsure of the thickness of the ice early in the season and lacking ice skates, we settled for more pictures to remember our trip by.

In the tributary stream above, I found the most interesting discovery of the afternoon under the ice.  Near an edge were the ice had not formed, I noticed something move.  Upon closer inspection I found a brook trout.  Then another, and another, until it finally dawned on me that all the fish in the lake had moved up to spawn.  Okay, maybe not all, but hopefully you get the idea...



Can you find the fish under the ice?



The day was quickly fading.  As night approached, constantly changing colors danced across the sky and were reflected on the icy surface of the lake and beaver ponds.  Yes, Colorado is a pretty special place in any season!!!





9 comments:

  1. Once again, a gigantic THANK YOU, David! Great pics and a strong narrative.

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    1. Thanks to you too, Gerry, for reading! You need to plan a trip out here sometime...

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  2. Anonymous9:01 PM

    David, thanks so much for taking me along on your journey, pictorially! Beautiful shots. Have to admit that the stream looks inviting in different circumstances.

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    1. Mel, thanks for coming along on the trip. The stream is definitely inviting in a different way. I've been wondering if you can ice fish effectively on a stream like this. Not sure if it would be wise to try but interesting to think about...

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  3. Aah, winter in the high country. Ain't it beautiful and the colors on the Brookies, breath taking.

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    1. Mark, I love the brookies all dressed in their fall best. Some of the most beautiful fish if you ask me...

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    2. Definitely the most beautiful fish... And that is a scientific fact!! I love brookie...

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  4. Hi David. You certainly captured the beauty of RMNP. It's a breathtaking place any time of the year as you know. Fantastic photos my friend.

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    1. Thanks Howard! Winter is particular nice in my opinion because the crowds are all gone. I count myself fortunate every time I get to go up there...

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