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, December 28, 2013

Winter Stocked Trout

Tennessee, as do many states, has a winter trout stocking program to provide trout fishing for people who would normally not have the opportunity to fish for trout because of their lack of proximity to cold-water streams.  A couple of days ago, I made it to our local fishing hole at Cumberland Mountain State Park.  Byrd Lake is stocked every winter.  My preference is to fish it in the spring once the fish have had a couple of months to grow (and color up a bit) but even now the trout can provide an hour or two of entertainment close to home.

Fishing can be good both in the lake and in the stream above and below the lake.  I enjoy fishing the stream below the lake as it is a very short walk compared to the jaunt required to get above the lake.  The fish are small but generally eager.  As fresh stockers, the fish won't require your fly fishing Ph.D. nor your midge box.  Instead, a few simple wet flies will generally suffice.  My favorite flies are Wooly Buggers and Simi Seal Leeches, preferably with a bead head.  I fish them on the swing most of the time although occasionally dead drifting works as well.

If you are in the area and want to get out, try fishing at Cumberland Mountain State Park.  You will be pleasantly surprised at how good these fish look considering they are fresh stockers.


And if you decide to go, here is a tip for you: find my favorite stump.  Just be careful casting as the trees nearby are hungry for flies...


4 comments:

  1. David
    Nice looking rainbow, this is a new area for me. How is the lake fishing? Your Seal Leech is a killer on a tailrace, especially with the dead drift. It has really been good for me on the Sipsey. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bill, I did not take the time to fish the lake on this trip. Normally I enjoy fishing it for bluegill in that lake. Glad that Leech is still working well for you!

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Mark, I just came home for the holiday, but I will be officially moving back in early January, pretty much as soon as I fly back out to CO (assuming nothing comes up between now and then in terms of a job that would allow me to stay).

      Delete

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