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

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!

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  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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