Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 11/29/2016

You have probably read about the fire disaster in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Gatlinburg. As of right now the Park is closed. Thank you to those who have contacted me to make sure that I'm okay. I'm blessed to not live close to the impacted area but am very sad over the devastation that many people are dealing with. The woods will heal quickly, but many people are now dealing with rebuilding their lives. Those scars will last much longer.

If you are interested in fishing, the Park should improve with the coming rainfall. Once it opens back up, fishing should be okay unless it gets really cold which is likely this time of year. Nymphing will be the way to go. A large fly like a stonefly and a small nymph like a blue-winged olive are a good idea in the winter. Next spring has the potential to feature some of the best hatches we've had in a while. That assumes we don't get tons of high water this winter which is nearly impossible to forecast ahead of time. That said, some of the best quill gordon hatches have happened during or just after drought years.

Fishing on the Caney Fork River should continue to be good through the cold months this year. We have had an incredible year on the river. While we can't hope for the river to fish this well every year, next spring and summer should be good as well unless we get long periods of high water.

Please avoid wading on gravel spawning areas. Those eggs have a good chance of making it through the next couple of months to hatch time if we don't have too much high water. This applies on the Caney Fork River and in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Photo of the Month: The Colors of a Rainbow

Photo of the Month: The Colors of a Rainbow

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. 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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