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

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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