Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 3/23/2017
The fishing has been great lately! This spring has been phenomenal in the Smokies. Long hatches have produced dry fly fishing lasting for hours every day. The Caney Fork has been producing some great fish on high water.

In the Great Smoky Mountains, the spring fishing has started early this year. Quill Gordon (#12-#14) and Blue Quill (#16-#18) mayflies are starting to transition into Hendricksons (#12-#14). On foul weather days, the Blue-winged Olives (#18-#22) have literally poured off of the river. The recent cooler weather actually enhanced the dry fly fishing. The bugs have been having a harder time getting off of the water, so despite the cool water temperature, fish have been rising lazily through an extended afternoon hatch. Little Black Caddis (#18-#20) have been hatching well along with some Early Brown Stoneflies (#12).

On the tailwaters, the fishing has been decent to good. The Clinch is fishing well along with the Holston. The Caney Fork continues to be my river of choice, however. Streamer trips continue to produce and we are doing some high water nymphing as well. This is as good a time as any to have a shot at large rainbow and brown trout on this tailwater!

I still have some open dates for guided trips in April and May, but the calendar is filling fast. I've been turning away trips because people wait too long to book. Don't make that mistake!

Photo of the Month: Spring Is For Dry Flies

Photo of the Month: Spring Is For Dry Flies

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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    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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