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

Friday, April 04, 2014

Finally, Spring Crappie


Crappie fishing is one of the great simple pleasures in the life of a fisherman.  This time of year they can be found in shallow water hanging out close to brush piles and generally eating just about anything.  Usually they really turn on by the middle of March, but this year everything is running a little behind schedule.  When Tyler called the other day to ask about fishing for some crappie I figured it was time to go take a look.

When we got to the lake, the fish were noticeably absent from some of the better spots.  The water was low and clear, the previous night had been cold, and the sun was high and bright in the sky.  In situations like that, it can be best to just cover water until you find what you are looking for and that is what we chose to do.

Back in a shaded cove that has held fish in past years, we finally found what we had been looking for.   The fish were tight in to structure which made getting flies to them a bit tricky.  We finally figured out the right combination of fly and presentation though and were soon catching fish.  Tyler had a big grin on his face every time he pulled one out.


The warm water fishing will only get better over the next few weeks as things continue to warm.  With plenty of rain the past couple of days and more on the way for early next week, I'm starting to think that tailwaters may be off the to-do list for a while.  Local lakes and ponds will provide some fun action filled trips until I can get back on the Caney Fork or over to the Smokies!

12 comments:

  1. David! Nice post and sweet crappie! Thanks for sharing glad the water is warming because we are still fighting snow!!!!hahahahaha TIghtlines!

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    1. Thanks! I've been watching the weather out there in CO. I'm glad you are getting plenty of snow. It is a pain now but it is looking like a great water year for some good fishing!

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  2. David
    Crappie on the fly is one species I haven't landed yet. I'm glad you guys made a connection. Thanks for shairng

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    1. Bill, they are some of the most fun you can have on the fly rod. Hope you find some this year!

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  3. Nothing wrong with a fist full of Crappie.

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  4. You're so lucky to be getting out for spring crappie already! I think we've got a couple of weeks before I can get enough open water in my favorite spots. And yes, crappie fishing is one of the greatest pleasures.

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    1. Thanks! I'm actually surprised it has taken us this long as we normally would have pretty good crappie action about two weeks ago. This has been a strange year...

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  5. David, happen to agree with you on the pleasures of Crappie fishing. As the NoCo Nympher said in his response, the Front Range is still in cold mode, Will be awhile before some decent Crappie fishing out our way.

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    1. Mel, I hope you guys don't go crazy waiting out the last of the cold weather. As I mentioned above to NoCo Nympher, at least all this snow will translate to good fishing later this year...

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  6. All I remember about crappie fishing is that I ate like a king afterwards!

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    1. Howard, that seems to be the one thing everyone agrees on when I mention crappie fishing...

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