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

Monday, September 02, 2013

Overlooked Puddles

Puddles don't look like much, but they can sure surprise you.  That's what I learned today.  A long drive through the mountains eventually led me to the headwaters of a rather well-known trout stream.  Normally I chase brown trout in this particular area and today my intention was the same.  Since moving out here, I have fished a large portion of the stream and have discovered that it has more nice brown trout than most people think.

Pulling in to a familiar parking area, I quickly grabbed my gear and started the short walk to the stream. I had barely started walking when I noticed something in a small puddle along the path.  A rise???  In all likelihood, the small puddle was the work of beavers at some point in the past.  The puddle was small enough I really didn't think of looking for fish in it.


Edging over, I was soon casting.  A small and eager brook trout swirled again and again but couldn't quite figure out how to eat my fly.  I was rigged up to chase brown trout after all, and a snack for a nice brown would be a 5 course dinner for this little brookie with leftovers to spare.  Again I tossed the fly out with the same result.  On the third cast, a larger shadow swirled and found the hook!

Not a large fish, this brookie made up for lack of size with its beauty.  I was just enjoying having caught a fish out of a puddle that I'm sure many other fishermen walk right past on their way to the real trout water.


Oh yeah, I caught a few brook trout in the stream as well.  I suppose I'll be tying some brook trout colored streamers for the browns this year...

10 comments:

  1. A lesson I learned long ago. You have to fish every nook and cranny on the creek.

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    1. Mark, as often as I relearn this lesson you would think that I would have mastered it by now....instead I'm still surprised every time...

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  2. Two days ago a guy I know pulled an absolute toad out of the Clinch from an area we walk thru or past ALL the time. I was kinda shocked. The grass IS NOT always greener on the other side. Sometimes its right under your nose

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    1. Adam, it always amazes me some of the water that big fish will be on tailwaters. I regularly saw people wading on the Caney where I knew big fish would have been hanging out without the intrusion...

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  3. Great reminder and what a looker that trout is.

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    1. Thanks Atlas. It was definitely a beautiful fish!

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  4. It's unknown surprises like this that make fishing so much fun.

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    1. You're right for sure there! I learn something new every time and love each and every surprise...

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  5. David
    How many times have I overlook areas that I thought didn't hold fish, this post is a perfect example of not overlooking any waters. By the way I landed one of my best rainbows "latest post" the other day on your copper nymph. I will be getting in touch for more. Thanks for sharing

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    Replies
    1. Bill, I'm glad that fly is still working for you!

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