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

Monday, March 25, 2013

The PB&J

Several years ago, I was faced with a "shad" dilemma.  A recent post on the Little River Outfitter message board reminded me of the great fun of fishing shad patterns during shad kills.  I developed this pattern to not only imitate the size and color of the naturals but also to get down deep where the large fish often are.  For those of you interested in fishing on top during shad kills, I recommend taking a guide trip with me or with my buddy David Perry.  A favorite technique is fishing flies on the surface during this time. I can promise that there is nothing more exciting than a huge trout sipping a dying shad off the surface as delicately as it would a mayfly during a hatch.

This pattern has been one of my favorites for big shad-eating stripers.  In fact, I have caught more big stripers on this pattern than anything else.  This fly can be modified to use plastic eyes so it has neutral buoyancy if you don't want it sinking too far.  I call it the Puglisi, Bunny, and Jelly, PB&J for short.  The little bit of red near the throat gives it a wounded appearance.  I'm a firm believer in giving fish that extra trigger to induce strikes.

Hook:  Gamakatsu SL11-3H or similar hook (also use Mustad 34007)
Thread: White 3/0
Eyes: Medium Lead Eyes tied in on the BOTTOM of the hook shank (original) (or lead-free substitute)
Body (top): White Zonker strip (I personally like the magnum strips for extra bulk and movement)
Body (bottom): White Puglisi fibers
Throat: Fiery Blood Red Jorgensen SLF dubbing with a bit more Puglisi Fibers tied in in front of the red dubbing

Note that the eyes are tied in on the bottom instead of in the usual Clouser method.  I find that for this pattern, it rides better and gets better hookups when the eyes are tied on the bottom of the hook shank.  However, it is more likely to snag on the bottom this way.

This fly is one of my bread and butter streamers.  When all else fails, I toss some PB&J and the fish will usually eat!!!



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