Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 01/08/2020

Unusually warm and wet conditions continue to prevail here in middle and east Tennessee. This upcoming weekend is looking like more rain and possibly even severe weather. The wind forecast is bad enough that I wouldn't bother going fishing until Sunday at the earliest unless you can go tomorrow.

In the Smokies, nymphing will be the name of the game, but don't be surprised to see some blue-winged olives from time to time. With all the high water, think streamers, big stoneflies, or worm imitations.

Tailwaters like the Caney Fork and Clinch are still rolling with a lot of water. Both rivers are over 10,000 cfs. While this is still fishable, I don't really recommend it. Flows this high are generally all about swinging for the fences if you feel like hunting a trophy. Many days it won't happen. Once in a while it will. Throw big streamers, hope for a shad kill, and get out there. Those big fish won't get caught if you're sitting home on the couch.

The Caney will produce decent fishing if we ever get flows back down at least a little. One generator would be ideal. Right now I'll even take two. Minimum flow looks a long ways off right now.

On the Clinch, you can throw streamers and also possible nymph up a few fish. If you pick your spots, there are places to nymph even on 12,000 cfs. Let's hope it gets back down to two generators or less soon. Every time we get a big rain event, look for some low water for a day or two or three. TVA will hold water back at tributary dams like Norris to reduce downstream high water effects. This gives those of us who like to wade a day or two to fish.

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: Starting the Year Off Right

Photo of the Month: Starting the Year Off Right

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Chasing Panfish

One of my favorite spring rituals involving fishing is chasing panfish as they put on the feed in preparation for spawning.  Bluegill, shellcrackers, and crappie all are perfect fly rod fish: they are aggressive and will readily eat just about any well-presented fly.  Here in Colorado I have focused mainly on trout, but hope to change that soon.

On my recent trip to Tennessee, I had to make a stop at the small lake near my parents' place that is my early season hot spot.  The stop turned out to be only about 15 minutes, both because I had friends along and because it was downright COLD.  Yep, I forgot how bone-chilling the humid air of the southeast can be.  The recent cold front had ushered in gusty northwest winds and after catching a fish, I was happy to head back home.

Catherine McGrath Photograph

The crappie are not exactly on fire yet, or were not on that particular day.  My educated guess says that the crappie fishing improved drastically this last weekend with the warm temperatures.  Hopefully I'll find a good spot or two to chase some panfish nearby soon.  Maybe, just maybe, even this afternoon...

8 comments:

  1. Crappie are really fun with a fly rod. They hit so strange. It always feels like the fly is dragging through grass when they hit.

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    1. I've always thought the same thing, except for once. I had a BIG crappie come out and nail a buzz bait (yep, used to spin fish) just like a bass. One of the craziest things I have ever seen.

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  2. Anonymous1:24 PM

    Another thing that you and I have in common, David. I absolutely love chasing Bluegill and Crappie or Perch for that matter. Like you, I have to adjust my thinking now that I live in Colorado and see if I can find some willing Panfish!

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    Replies
    1. Mel, I'm going to be trying to find a good spot and am hoping there will be some bass included as well!

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  3. FYI, the two big ones I caught last year were on the Thin Mint.

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    1. Mark, I'm a believer in that fly now. I tied up a bunch for the Smokies but then ended up fishing even larger streamers due to the high water. They will still catch a bunch of fish for me sometime this year though!

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  4. David
    I enjoyed the video. Was the crappie you were catching stocked in this pond? Sometimes they get brought in ponds in the form of eggs on Cranes legs. For me there is a difference in the feel of a crappie and bluegill on the fly rod, more darting with the bluegill. Thanks for sharing

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    Replies
    1. Bill, I'm not sure if they were originally stocked in there or not but would assume so. I definitely know what you mean about the feel of the fish. I can almost always tell whether I have a bluegill on or a crappie. They feel a lot different for sure!

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