Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 01/22/2020

High flows continue across the area but trends are definitely down. A recent cold snap broke the ongoing heatwave so fishing in the mountains has slowed dramatically. Right on schedule, some of our tailwaters should begin returning to more normal flows for this time of year meaning float trips are certainly possible.

For the Smokies, a warming trend should commence as we go into next week. By mid week the fishing should be decent before the next cold front returns us back to winter again. On warmer days, look for midges and possibly winter stoneflies hatching. Some blue-winged olives will be possible on foul weather days as we head towards February. The best fishing is still a few weeks out, but no longer feels like an eternity. Expect good spring hatches to start in late February or early March with blue quills and quill gordons along with little black caddis and early brown and black stones. By April, things will be settling down with the pinnacle of spring fishing usually happening from mid April through the month of May.

On our area tailwaters, high water continues to be the story. The Caney Fork still has at least a couple of weeks of high flows and that is assuming we don't get any more heavy rainfall. This time of year, that is asking a lot. The high water is good for one thing, however. Shad. Yes, the cold months are prime time to try and hit the famed shad kill and catch a monster brown trout. Same thing goes for the Clinch.

Speaking of the Clinch, the good news is that flows are scheduled to begin dropping tomorrow. A steady two generators will feel like low water after the recent period of two generators plus sluicing. Two generators opens up some nymphing possibilities in addition to our favorite winter pastime, stripping streamers for monsters.

The musky streams are settling into fine shape and will be an option moving forward as well. Remember that bouts of high water will get them stained or even muddy for a few days, but as flows come down the fishing should pick back up.

Photo of the Month: Starting the Year Off Right

Photo of the Month: Starting the Year Off Right

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Snowy Solitude

One of the rare pleasures of fly fishing, at least for me, is fishing in the snow.  Yes, it can be ridiculously cold, but the quiet and solitude of being outside during a snowstorm is well worth the price of admission.  When the snow started to pile up yesterday, my first thought was to go home and relax.  My evening opened up a bit however and with time to spare, I headed for Boulder Creek.


After finding the lower creek muddy on Sunday, I figured with the cold weather it had to have dropped and cleared.  Wrong.  Entering Boulder Canyon instead of fishing in mud, I was impressed with how quickly the road conditions deteriorated as I left town.


The Trout Mobile has seen better days and the balding front tires suggested an extended adventure deep into the canyon would be foolhardy at best.  So it was that I found myself stopping just above Four Mile.


The stream was a black ribbon through an otherwise white landscape.  Again I wondered if it was wise to fish, but, curious on how the fish would respond to the snowstorm, I quickly rigged up.  In retrospect I should have used gloves, but I didn't plan to fish long so just through on my lucky fishing cap, a fleece, and a rain coat and scrambled down to a nice pool just below a stretch of pocket water.


Not really wanting to move, I started changing patterns, looking for that one that might do the trick.  A Bellyache Minnow produced several soft hits including some from nicer fish.  The cold water had the fish a bit lethargic though, and I failed to connect.  Several other patterns were tried and I even dropped a soft hackle behind a little streamer to no avail.  Miraculously, I could still tie knots, sorta at least.  This is my usual "test" for getting "too" cold.  Opening up the streamer box, I stared for a while.  Finally, I reached for a Girdle Bug but at the last second my fingers veered to a sculpin pattern.  I was now in the zone, making the right choice without even knowing why.



It took only a couple of casts before I had a solid hit and quickly pulled in a beautiful but sluggish brown from the chilly water.  I took a couple of pictures, then started to consider the warmth I had left at home.  Hunger reminded me that it was past supper time and probably time to get out of the canyon before dark.  Pausing, I took another picture of the stream, thankful for the opportunity for an hour of solitude in the snow.



6 comments:

  1. I don't know if you are gung ho or a glutton for punishment. In either case, I commend your dedication.

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    1. Thanks Mark, I'm not sure which one it is either sometimes but hoping its gung ho. Thanks for reading!

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  2. One of my favorite places to fish...when the temperatures get a tad bit warmer!

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    1. Howard, I'm looking forward to having a full summer to fish Boulder Creek. Getting to know my local creeks and their moods throughout the year is always an enjoyable process...

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  3. Excellent, David! Cold or hot, I envy your access to such a wonderful environment. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Scott! I'm blessed to have such a place close by...

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