Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 04/16/2019

Wow! So many changes since the last report. First, the streams in the Smokies are mostly in good shape except after rain events. Water has been a bit on the high side in some drainages but overall conditions are very good. Our early hatches are giving way to lighter colored bugs now. Light Cahills, Pale Evening Duns, Blue-winged Olives, March Browns, and Hendricksons have all been on the water at times. The huge Black Stoneflies are around now as well and providing some big bites for hungry trout. Sulfurs should be starting fairly soon, especially with all of the nice weather we are having. Little Yellow Stoneflies are just starting to show up now as well and will get much stronger as May approaches. The yearly pinnacle of spring dry fly fishing is quickly approaching!

Tailwaters are starting to fish well. The Caney Fork is still blowing a LOT of water. That should change fairly soon if we don't get too much rain. I'm thinking we might start seeing some opportunities in early May if things hold steady, maybe sooner. The Clinch has been fishing extremely well. Big hard fighting rainbow and brown trout are the target here on light tippets and tiny flies. Bring your A game or go home disappointed. Sulfurs should start to really take off shortly along with more caddis than we have already been seeing.

Warm water options are really taking off as well. That is assuming that flows cooperate. Big rain events will shut this down for a few days, but otherwise, everything is fishing very well right now!

Photo of the Month: Early Spring Rewards

Photo of the Month: Early Spring Rewards

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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