Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 12/3/2019

Winter fishing is nearly upon us. Snow yesterday has given way to falling water temperatures in the Smokies. In general, fish will be hunkered down, although by tomorrow they should start to get more active again as temperatures warm. For the next three months, expect many more fish in the slower places in the Park. Think nymphs and maybe streamers but don't be surprised to find fish rising to blue-winged olives or midges on some days.

On tailwaters like the Clinch, brown trout and some fall spawn rainbows are doing their thing. This is a good time to review good ethics when it comes to spawning trout. Remember that these are the next generation of trout and the best thing you can do is to leave them alone. Avoid wading through spawning areas and don't fish for obvious spawners. For the foreseeable future, we should have high water thanks to big rains this last weekend. Fishing out of the drift boat will be very good through the winter with both nymphing and streamer fishing a distinct possibility. Want to swing for the fences and go for just one monster? Streamers will just get better and better going into January and February.

The Caney is slowly coming around. A few shad are coming through the dam, but lingering water quality problems are limiting the fishing. Winter streamer floats will produce shots at larger brown trout for anglers willing to work hard. Next spring should bring good fishing again.

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: Big Fish Chuck Strikes Again

Photo of the Month: Big Fish Chuck Strikes Again

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Fish Art

Going fishing is something I'm always down for.  A couple of Mondays ago, I almost gave up before I started though.  A strong cold front had just moved into the area and the air temperature was quickly falling towards the freezing point.  Sometimes I put the joy of catching a few fish in the balances against the misery involved and find the scales tipping in the direction of staying home warm and comfortable.  This time I rebelled at that idea though, especially since I was pretty confident that I would have the water to myself considering the conditions.

Arriving at one of my local streams, I started rigging up.  More properly stated, I put my fly rod together in between holding on to anything that could possibly fly away, the wind was just that strong.  A couple of times I thought I might fly away also and wondered again about the intelligence of fishing under such conditions.  Finally I got everything situated and trudged down to the stream.  Soon I had the line pulled through the guides and a Crawbugger tied on.

In the first pool I stopped at, a fish spooked from an unlikely spot in the back.  Knowing that the water was low enough that I couldn't afford to spook fish, I just started casting from where I was even though I prefer to work a bit closer to my quarry when possible.  A follow!  Focusing on the retrieve to work the fly just right, I enticed a little brown to nail the offering.


After a quick picture, I glanced up.  The natural art I had just released was beautiful but something nearby was unique and interesting in its own way.  Anyone who has put in some time on the local creeks will undoubtedly recognize this.  I can verify that the browns living in this vicinity are hungry and willing to eat!



Not far below here, I found some violets, one of my favorites!  I'm grateful for the beauty in nature that is always around me in the amazing places I get to fish.


Moving downstream, I continued to catch a fish here and another there.  Standard for streamer fishing, there were a lot more follows than there were eats.  The fish are obviously hungry after a long cold winter locked under the ice.  I did locate some better than average fish as well that will require a return trip or two or three until I land them.  Finally, the eats dwindled and eventually stopped.  The weather had put the fish off the feed.





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