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

Monday, January 28, 2013

Handling Fish

I just came across a great article from Louis Cahill over at the Gink and Gasoline blog.  Titled "14 Ways to Prevent Fish Mortality," there are tons of great tips for everyone from the beginner to the seasoned veteran.  Over the years I have seen everything, including someone playing a 12 inch rainbow on the Caney Fork for over 5 minutes.  One of my favorite all-time fish abuse stories is the South Holston body slam.  After catching a big trout in the neighborhood of 26-28 inches, a man lifted the fish and slammed it to the ground (slight exaggeration because the fish probably squirmed out of his hands), at least that's what it looked like to me.  The funny part about this story?  The guy then proceeded to "wonder" out loud to his buddy for the next hour why the fish was just sitting in 6 inches of water behind a rock and not moving for the next hour.  Regardless, I'm sure we could all treat fish with a bit more respect to ensure that they are healthy for someone else to enjoy.  Check out the article, and if you don't already subscribe to Gink and Gasoline, I recommend you do that while you're over there...

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