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, March 24, 2014

One Small Trout

If I had to go back to one moment that started me on the writing and photography road, it would be during the spring hatches on Little River.  Back then, I mainly fished smaller streams, finding the fishing easier there, or perhaps I should say the catching.  On this particular day, I had ventured onto Little River proper, somewhere downstream from Metcalf Bottoms.  The goal, of course, was brown trout.

For someone who had rarely caught any brown trout, the opportunity to at least attempt to catch one was eagerly seized upon.  The moment that trout came out is still as clear in my mind's eye as it was when it happened.  In fact I can still show you the exact rock where it happened.  I had just cast upstream along the bank where the current swept down towards an undercut rock.  The fish darted out from under that rock, stared at the fly for a second, and then gently gulped it in.

I was ecstatic but also afraid of losing the beautiful brown.  That fear was enhanced because I was carrying a camera for the first time ever and wanted that picture!  My sister had loaned me her point and shoot. At the time it was a very nice camera, but today most phones have better cameras.  Finally I had the fish corralled.

Nothing was memorable about the fish in terms of size.  In fact, it is probably one of the smaller browns I've caught in the mountains.  On later trips I would catch many fish that could have had this fish for a snack.  There was a moment, though, when everything came together.  The light, the fish, the water, all blended into one golden moment.  


After that I was hooked and started looking for a camera of my own.  Since then, I've taken pictures of many trout, both ones that I have caught and ones that friends have caught, but I'm still waiting on that perfect combination of light and water.  Someday it will happen, and hopefully I'll again have my camera ready.  


4 comments:

  1. Beautiful. Wish you'd post the full sized one...

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    Replies
    1. Matthew, I might try to get that done later today. Thanks!

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  2. David
    It is amazing how most of us still remember those tiny details of landing a particular fish that inspired us to become the fishermen we are today; and you my friend are one of those chosen few. Thanks for sharing a great post!!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Bill. You are right, it is pretty amazing how we can remember so many details. I'm sure you have some amazing stories as well and I'm looking forward to hearing them when we fish!

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