Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 09/04/2019

Fishing has slowed down in some places and heated up in others. Smallmouth bass fishing on the streams of the Cumberland Plateau has been good to excellent while the tailwaters have slowed down somewhat.

In the Smokies, streams are getting low and warm. Stick with mid and high elevation streams for now until we get some rain and cooler weather. Right now it looks like this will probably last for another week although we do have some rain forecast next week. Let's hope that happens! A variety of bugs are working here, but lean heavily on your terrestrial box. Yellow Stimulators in particular have also been good lately.

The Caney Fork continues to produce a few fish here and there. Stripers are still thick in the river which isn't helping the trout at all. As long as things stay dry, this will be a viable option. There are a few large fish present if you know where to look. Yesterday's big fish was a 21.5" rainbow caught while sight fishing. Don't expect that every day, but if you're prepared to put in your time, there are good fish to be caught (and released!!!).

The Clinch seems to be in the middle of the annual late summer drawdown of Norris Lake. High water will be the norm here for the next few weeks. If you don't have a boat, then don't bother except, possibly, during early mornings. Weekends are offering some morning windows but crowds will generally be thick as well.

Fall fishing is not far off. The Clinch should fish well unless we have a wet fall. Sometime between mid October and early November, we should see flows start to come down. The Smokies are my personal favorite for fall fishing. The fish will be hungry and maybe even looking up!

Photo of the Month: Guide Trip Fish of the Year for the Smokies

Photo of the Month: Guide Trip Fish of the Year for the Smokies

Monday, April 28, 2014

Scouting

As we move closer to summer, our warm water streams here on the Cumberland Plateau are beginning to wake up.  On Sunday afternoon, I headed out with a friend to check a new spot off the list.  Most of these streams on the Plateau are remote and often much more rugged than anything I've ever encountered in the Smokies.  The hike in can often be brutal, but if you put in your time and do your homework, there are places with better access that can be found.  In fact, we never fished more than 1/3 of a mile from the car.

The best water is usually much tougher to get to though so I'm planning a return trip that will involve a bit more hiking.  While these streams are full of small bass and sunfish, some nicer fish can be found as well as evidenced by this nice smallmouth I found.

Photograph by Seth Arnold

Fishing was still a bit slow and will heat up over the next 3 weeks as waters warm and flows drop.  By June, things should be moving right along and will continue to be good through September most likely.  By late in the season, the fish in these streams are spooky as flows drop to a fraction of what they are now.  Long clear pools interspersed with gentle riffles and pockets make long casts a necessity as well as smaller flies.

But now, for the next few weeks at least, I'll be out there tossing larger flies like my PB&J streamer.  Bright colors worked best and the PB&J in Firetiger got the most looks.  Soon they'll be taking bugs on top as well.  The smaller fish were working the hatching Hendricksons pretty well, but soon we'll be tossing Stealth Bombers, Wiggle Minnows, and hopper patterns at the bass and panfish.  If you live in the area, Plateau streams and creeks are a worthy target in lieu of driving somewhere further to trout fish.

8 comments:

  1. That area looks beautiful and the smallie is great. Ah, never mind, I don't feel like hiking.

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    1. Howard, thankfully we didn't have to hike far, but next time I go back I'm hitting the trail for a bit longer I think...

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  2. I'd personally drive further for a good Smallie stream than a good trout stream... it's all a matter of tastes.

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    Replies
    1. Jay, when I lived in Colorado, I started to feel it too. I missed being able to hit the smallie creeks but of course it was nice to drive 15 minutes and fish for wild trout...

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  3. Darn nice Smallie, Dave. I sure envy anyone who gets an opportunity to fish Smallmouth on a regular basis.

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    Replies
    1. Mel, I'm fortunate to have some great places close by. I missed them while I lived in CO...

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  4. David
    There is nothing like landing smallmouth on the fly, the closest I can come to smallmouth fishing is the spots here on Smith. Thanks for sharing

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    Replies
    1. Bill, those spots you catch are always pretty impressive. I love smallmouth but the variety those spotted bass add would be nice.

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