Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 01/08/2020

Unusually warm and wet conditions continue to prevail here in middle and east Tennessee. This upcoming weekend is looking like more rain and possibly even severe weather. The wind forecast is bad enough that I wouldn't bother going fishing until Sunday at the earliest unless you can go tomorrow.

In the Smokies, nymphing will be the name of the game, but don't be surprised to see some blue-winged olives from time to time. With all the high water, think streamers, big stoneflies, or worm imitations.

Tailwaters like the Caney Fork and Clinch are still rolling with a lot of water. Both rivers are over 10,000 cfs. While this is still fishable, I don't really recommend it. Flows this high are generally all about swinging for the fences if you feel like hunting a trophy. Many days it won't happen. Once in a while it will. Throw big streamers, hope for a shad kill, and get out there. Those big fish won't get caught if you're sitting home on the couch.

The Caney will produce decent fishing if we ever get flows back down at least a little. One generator would be ideal. Right now I'll even take two. Minimum flow looks a long ways off right now.

On the Clinch, you can throw streamers and also possible nymph up a few fish. If you pick your spots, there are places to nymph even on 12,000 cfs. Let's hope it gets back down to two generators or less soon. Every time we get a big rain event, look for some low water for a day or two or three. TVA will hold water back at tributary dams like Norris to reduce downstream high water effects. This gives those of us who like to wade a day or two to fish.

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: Starting the Year Off Right

Photo of the Month: Starting the Year Off Right

Friday, January 03, 2014

Smokies Interlude

Part of my plans for Christmas break naturally involved fishing.  However, most of the break was planned for me with family time taking precedence over everything else.  The one small trip I allowed myself was a one day interlude to the rest of my vacation.  Even though conditions were not ideal, I still was happy to visit the Smokies.

Last Thursday, I finalized plans to meet my friend Travis in the Park.  My goal was to get there early, before the sun was on the water, and throw streamers for a while.  He would join me later.  As it turned out, he had the best game plan.  The fish really did not become active until later in the morning as the sun warmed the water just a bit.  Fish will feed in very cold water so it can still be worth getting out during the cold months, contrary to popular opinion.  However, the water temperature's direction is very important.  Even a small increase in water temps can get the trout moving around and active.  The sun warmed the water just enough that we started to see fish up and moving around.

One pool in particular has a good population of trout that are normally willing to eat a well-presented fly.  We all rigged up with nymphs and spread out along the stream.  I worked my way up a small side channel while my friends Travis and Buzz thoroughly worked the pool.


After fishing my little stretch of water, I moved back down to discover that, other than small rainbows, they had not had much catching going on.  Since I had not caught anything, small rainbows sounded better than nothing.  I attached a strike indicator and started working the pool.  A few drifts later the indicator dove, and I found a small rainbow on the end of my line!

There's nothing like getting that first fish out of the way.  Able to relax since the skunk was no longer a possibility, I tossed the double nymph rig a bit longer before changing back to a streamer.  In the winter, when the streams are so cold, I prefer the faster paced method of fishing streamers as opposed to staring at an indicator while my fingers freeze.

Continuing upstream, I found a pool that I know holds some nice fish but one that I've never had much luck in.  This trip would end that.  Just a few casts into my systematic search for trout, a flash indicated a brown in hot pursuit.  The fish abruptly turned away, but I thought I might still have a chance.  Two casts later the fish rose off the bottom again and hammered the streamer.  The heavy tippet allowed me to keep the fight short.  Soon I was releasing the brown back to his pool.  Not a bad last trout for 2013!



Later, I headed in to Townsend for lunch and to stop by and see the crew at Little River Outfitters.  After chatting with Daniel for a while and looking at all the remodeling changes that have been happening, I stumbled upon the fly tying clearance bin.  This has been and, after this trip, continues to be a huge drain on my finances.  I mean, who can pass up a great deal?  I hit the jackpot on this trip when I found a LOT of tiny hooks on sale, perfect for midge and BWO patterns.  I'll be tying small flies in anticipation of the tailwater fishing this upcoming year.  If you tie and stop by LRO, make sure you check out the sales bin.  Your wallet might not appreciate it but think of all the money you will save with some of the super deals you can find there!

2 comments:

  1. David
    Beautiful water you were fishing there, I just checked the LRO report today for fishing and Monday and Tuesday there would be a challenge. Those wild browns are awesome looking this time of the year. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  2. David,
    I am always amazed by your photos. Congrats on your first fish of the year. I have always wanted to fish the Smokies. It is definitely on my to do list. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete

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