Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 12/3/2019

Winter fishing is nearly upon us. Snow yesterday has given way to falling water temperatures in the Smokies. In general, fish will be hunkered down, although by tomorrow they should start to get more active again as temperatures warm. For the next three months, expect many more fish in the slower places in the Park. Think nymphs and maybe streamers but don't be surprised to find fish rising to blue-winged olives or midges on some days.

On tailwaters like the Clinch, brown trout and some fall spawn rainbows are doing their thing. This is a good time to review good ethics when it comes to spawning trout. Remember that these are the next generation of trout and the best thing you can do is to leave them alone. Avoid wading through spawning areas and don't fish for obvious spawners. For the foreseeable future, we should have high water thanks to big rains this last weekend. Fishing out of the drift boat will be very good through the winter with both nymphing and streamer fishing a distinct possibility. Want to swing for the fences and go for just one monster? Streamers will just get better and better going into January and February.

The Caney is slowly coming around. A few shad are coming through the dam, but lingering water quality problems are limiting the fishing. Winter streamer floats will produce shots at larger brown trout for anglers willing to work hard. Next spring should bring good fishing again.

Winter is our favorite time to get on the musky streams. In between bouts of high water, those will be fishing well for the next few months.

Photo of the Month: Big Fish Chuck Strikes Again

Photo of the Month: Big Fish Chuck Strikes Again

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Last Trip

Sunday may have been my last trip of 2012.  There is the possibility of venturing out while in Maine for Christmas (yeah, you read that correctly), and if any of you have any helpful hints and suggestions I'm all ears.  Realistically, however, in all likelihood I logged my last trip of the year.  Best of all, the fish were still hungry!!!

A trip to Boulder provided a great excuse for tossing a fly rod in the car.  One can always hope right?  On Saturday, I drove about a mile up Boulder Canyon and was dismayed at the amount of solid water. Yep, winters in Colorado are just a little bit different from those in Tennessee.  Amazingly, there is still a fair amount of open water in town.

After quickly rigging a rod, I hit the stream with, you guessed it, my favorite little white streamer.  Time has been tight lately but I promise that I will get around to doing an article about this great winter time fly.  In the first pool and riffle, I found zero fish.  Not to be deterred, I worked my way upstream.  The next pool was much more promising.

A little trick I like to use this time of year is to find pools where I know fish spawned.  Normally fish will move to the closest deep water after spawning to ride out the cold months.  The next pool I fished was such a pool.  The tailout still had the telltale signs of recent spawning activity so I was fairly certain there were some browns nearby.  In fact, my first cast into the heart of the pool produced a rather impressive follow for the size of the creek, one of those "I'm coming back again later" type of moments.  Not a giant fish mind you, but large enough to be interesting.

Working my way into the run/riffle area at the head of the pool, I was surprised at how many fish were following the streamer out of the faster water.  The fish were definitely hungry and willing to eat while the stream conditions were still marginally favorable.  Finally, I saw two fish racing to hit the streamer at the same time.  The smaller of the two won, and I was a bit surprised to discover a brook trout with a face full of streamer on the end of my line.


Working my way up through riffles and pools, I found a few more willing fish.  As usual, I discovered several creative ways of spooking the best fish of the day.  This time of year can be particularly tough with low clear water, but I was already satisfied.  I hadn't really expected much out of the outing, but those are usually the times when the fishing is actually pretty good!!!



For Christmas, as I mentioned above, I'll be in Maine.  If anyone has any tips or suggestions for a place to fish this time of year, I'll be just northeast of the Portland/Freeport area.  I still haven't decided if I'll go to much effort to get out or even bother taking gear but must admit that the idea intrigues me.  I'm already thinking about some late winter or early spring trips to tailwaters like the Taylor or Frying Pan for BIG trout.  Apparently cabin fever sets in early here in Colorado...

2 comments:

  1. Yep David welcome to Colorado home of early cabin fever and late runoffs. Have a very Merry Christmas back home.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Those Browns look just like the ones that I catch up in the San Bernardino Mountains here in So Cal. Great photos!

    ReplyDelete

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