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

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Hike and Fish

As I mentioned in my last post, I always am keeping my eye out for opportunities to combine hiking and fishing.  Hiking helps me focus on my surroundings a bit better.  While fishing, I tend to get so caught up on what is happening on the water that I forget to notice the scenery.  The hiking allows me to enjoy the best of both worlds.  Wandering through the woods with a camera over my shoulder and a fly rod in hand is my favorite way to get out in nature.

A favorite local destination is Cumberland Mountain State Park.  In the winter, Byrd Lake is the recipient of quite a few rainbow trout.  As we move into spring, the trout that have managed to elude the catch and fry crowd start to color up and look more healthy.  After all, trout weren't meant to live their lives in concrete lined runs.  They quickly begin eating more natural food and can usually be found rising to midges in late winter.

Even though I've walked this lake since I was a little kid, I never know what I might find so the camera must come along.  On this particular day, it was first employed in photographing some of the trout I was catching.  One of my favorite patterns for stocked trout is the bead head Simi Seal Leech.  Incredibly easy to tie, it also happens to hold up pretty well to a good chewing.  This picture gives you a good view of this pattern.


The magic that encourages me to carry a camera happened at the upper end of the lake where the creek is still flowing.  Here the waters of the creek were so smooth and calm that the forest above was perfectly reflected.



This stream can contain trout as the fish move up out of the lake.  The casting is tight though and because of heavy silting over the years, wading is not advised.


The rest of my hike was uneventful other than catching a few small bluegill.  It is great to see the warm water species starting to get active.  That is always a sure fire sign that spring is about to arrive!

6 comments:

  1. "Hiking helps me focus on my surroundings a bit better." Needless to say it's also good exercise. Looks a lot like Putah Creek. Good for roll cast practice.

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    Replies
    1. So true Mark! Roll casting definitely is one of the main casts I use when I fish here...

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  2. Nice looking area for sure, David. I agree with you that fishing should be combined with some reflection on what you see as you to and from the water. Easy to miss things for sure. BTW, agree with you on the Seal / Mohair type leeches.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Mel! Those leeches are my go-to warm water flies if panfish are involved as well. Great little flies!

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  3. David
    That is a perfect area to fish my favorite nymph, the Seal Leech. I really like to fish this pattern in slower water. Thanks again for introducing me to this fantastic fly. I land trout on the Leech when nothing else will work.

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    Replies
    1. Bill, I'm glad that pattern has worked so well for you!

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