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

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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