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, January 29, 2013

Tying Season

As spring approaches at a now rapid pace, the warm days with hatching bugs and rising trout are not so much a distant hope as a soon to be reality.  Lots of snow is finally falling in the mountains, although still not "enough" (is there ever enough?).  My spring break fishing excursion is looming closer as is an early summer Yellowstone excursion if everything works out the way I hope.  In preparation, things are definitely starting to happen at my tying desk.  I'll be cranking out more and more flies in the coming few weeks with only a couple of fishing trips planned.

Also upcoming here at the Trout Zone is a review of a new book by Randy Kadish, entitled "The Way of the River."  When first contacted about a possible review, I was excited since I enjoyed his last book.  This book was a good read as well and in fact I could hardly put it down once I started reading.  Reading Randy's books always encourage me to contemplate my own life more including both my successes and failures as well as how to continue growing as an individual.

In addition to preparing for the upcoming fishing "season," I also have a tentative trip lined up with Juan Ramirez of Hopper Juan fame.  Yep! The next few weeks should be both productive and enjoyable.

Finally, I'm super excited about a new rod I ordered yesterday.  After years of drooling every time I saw or was able to cast a Helios, I finally bit the bullet and bought one.  I got a smoking deal from Taylor Creek over in Basalt or else I never would have justified spending the money.  For all of you who are always on the lookout for a great deal, I recommend signing up for the Taylor Creek email newsletter.  The deal (or was it a steal?) I got was highlighted in the newsletter and was not available on the website last I checked.  Taylor Creek treats their customers right as well and I have always had positive experiences with them.

Finally, I want to give a shout out to my friend Byron Begley over at Little River Outfitters.  He is working hard on the website and honestly I don't think he stops looking for ways to make it even better.  Right now he is in the middle of a project to completely redo the "Flies" section of the online catalogue.  It is a work in progress but the great photography (for you tiers out there this is a great way to see what the flies you are tying should look like) and new organization is going to be awesome.  The flies are going to be divided into categories based on primary purpose and usage.  There will be Smokies flies for each season as well as warm water patterns and tailwater flies, and don't forget the saltwater selection which is excellent especially considering that LRO is nowhere near the salt.

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