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

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Drifting with Friends

One of the best things about the sport of fly fishing is all of the great people you meet.  From fly shops across the country, to stream side chats, I've met some of the nicest and most generous people.  Meeting for a float is about as fun as it gets so when my friend Breck checked in about a possible Caney Fork float, I was all in.

He was wanting to see the Caney since he hadn't fished it yet and was bringing his boat.  The generation schedule called for high water so it would be a day of throwing streamers the whole way.  I tied up a few more flies the night before and got up early for a start at daybreak.

Once he arrived, we dropped my car for the shuttle later and headed on up the river.  Breck is a streamer fanatic and with good reason I might add.  He has caught some huge browns on rivers like the Clinch while drifting and knows what it takes to have a good day on the water.  His boat boxes were full of monstrosities designed to turn the largest fish in the river.

It didn't take long to get the first fish of the day as well as some drive by action that resulted in the usual exclamation of "Did you see that?!?!?"  The skipjack are up in the river right now but not in the size that I'm accustomed to from the Chickamauga tailwater in Chattanooga where 18 and 20 inch skipjack are normal.  Once we started drifting, the early cold started to wear off as the sun rose higher.  Fish started to flash with some regularity and Breck came up with the first rainbow and brown of the day.




I love rowing and stayed with it for a while even after Breck offered to take a turn, but eventually the pull of throwing big flies was too strong, and I finally agreed to take a turn with the fly rod.  We covered a lot of water, pounding the banks as well as trying to work over deep water in the middle near shoals and structure.  Fish came from a lot of different places with most of mine coming off of banks and Breck's coming from out in the middle.

It wasn't until we were near or past the halfway point that Breck got excited.  I looked and saw a dark shape swirling before hammering the streamer.  Unfortunately luck was not on our side as the hook pulled from the big brown's mouth and we were both left plotting how to return again for another try some day.  Finally, as we came into the homestretch, Breck offered to switch again, and I was back on the fly rod.  Flashes and swipes became more common and soon I had my own fish as well.

When I offered to row again so Breck could fish, he told me to keep fishing.  See what I mean about generous?  I didn't argue too long and kept at it strong until the takeout.  We had a great trip even if we didn't get that big fish.  Thanks again Breck for a great day out on the water!

You can see Breck's report on our trip on the Little River Outfitters message board here.

6 comments:

  1. David you need to purchase a driftboat if you're going to guide fulltime. When winter
    gets here it will be an essential tool for your trips. I have a Stealthcraft "mini-fly"
    that you can row if you would like to hook-up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Walter, that is high on my list of priorities. I'm trying to scrape together the money over the next few months. I've been interested in Stealthcraft boats so would love to have a chance to see yours and row it. Where are you located? Feel free to shoot me an email at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com

      Delete
  2. There is nothing more fun than floating with good people.

    ReplyDelete
  3. David
    I agree with Walter about the drift boat, it would increase your chances of attracting more guided tirps. Beautiful trout on the Caney. thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bill, I'm looking into getting one and hopefully it will be sometime soon!

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