Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 01/22/2020

High flows continue across the area but trends are definitely down. A recent cold snap broke the ongoing heatwave so fishing in the mountains has slowed dramatically. Right on schedule, some of our tailwaters should begin returning to more normal flows for this time of year meaning float trips are certainly possible.

For the Smokies, a warming trend should commence as we go into next week. By mid week the fishing should be decent before the next cold front returns us back to winter again. On warmer days, look for midges and possibly winter stoneflies hatching. Some blue-winged olives will be possible on foul weather days as we head towards February. The best fishing is still a few weeks out, but no longer feels like an eternity. Expect good spring hatches to start in late February or early March with blue quills and quill gordons along with little black caddis and early brown and black stones. By April, things will be settling down with the pinnacle of spring fishing usually happening from mid April through the month of May.

On our area tailwaters, high water continues to be the story. The Caney Fork still has at least a couple of weeks of high flows and that is assuming we don't get any more heavy rainfall. This time of year, that is asking a lot. The high water is good for one thing, however. Shad. Yes, the cold months are prime time to try and hit the famed shad kill and catch a monster brown trout. Same thing goes for the Clinch.

Speaking of the Clinch, the good news is that flows are scheduled to begin dropping tomorrow. A steady two generators will feel like low water after the recent period of two generators plus sluicing. Two generators opens up some nymphing possibilities in addition to our favorite winter pastime, stripping streamers for monsters.

The musky streams are settling into fine shape and will be an option moving forward as well. Remember that bouts of high water will get them stained or even muddy for a few days, but as flows come down the fishing should pick back up.

Photo of the Month: Starting the Year Off Right

Photo of the Month: Starting the Year Off Right

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Seriously?

Warning: I'm not going to apologize for the following rant, so if you don't want to hear me complaining, then stop reading now.  

Seriously people?  Fly fishermen have long had a reputation for looking down on "lower" forms of fishing.  Exactly where the reputation came from I have no idea, but I'm guessing there is probably some good reasons for people's opinions of our sport.  Fly fisherman are known as sticklers for the rules, often telling other people when they are in error.  Of all fisherman I've met stream side, I have run into far fewer fly fishermen who were trying to get ahead by cheating then any other.

In my opinion, chucking bait is not any better or any worse than any other type of fishing.  In fact, I'm guessing that's where most of us got our start, and let's admit, it's fun to watch that little bobber with a worm dangling under it.  However, I'm guessing that a lot of the bait chucker crowd tend to have less of a clue about the rules for a very simple reason: they don't know much else about fishing and probably just bought the gear they are using.  It might even be there first time ever trying out fishing.  "We have to have a license to do this?"  It's just ignorance.  In my opinion, ignorance is a problem, but is forgivable considering it's definitely not as bad as willfully breaking the rules.

On the other hand, if someone has progressed to the point of being a fly fisherman, there is a pretty good chance they at least know a little about what they are doing.  Same thing goes for someone who is an expert with a bait caster and haul in the bass one after the other.  They've been around the block a few times and know exactly what they are doing.  My favorites are the ones who do a little bit of everything and fish bait when they want to take a few home.  Those are probably some of the best fishermen out there and they always know the rules too.

That's why I hold some anglers to a higher standard than others.  Fly fishermen should know better than to break the rules and should always try to play by the rules.  All of this is leading up to why I was so ticked off yesterday.

While chucking streamers in the Smokies in what proved to be a futile effort, I came across a HUGE articulated fly beside a pool that has been known to produce some big fish.  I won't say how big, because someone would doubt without pictures, and I'm not at liberty to share pictures that friends have sent me.  Let's just say there are some monsters in the Park and leave it at that.

Anyway, as I get out of my car, I see what looks like a dead bird stuck to the side of a tree.  Walking over to investigate, I find a huge articulated fly stuck there.  How someone snagged the tree, broke off the fly, and completely did not see it is beyond me.  This is larger than a lot of flies I throw for musky.  I love throwing articulated flies in the Park, but am very careful to cut off all but one of the hooks.

This fly had two hooks.  Big ones too, I might add.  If you are fly fishing, you know better.  Park rules clearly state that the use of a dropper fly is permitted but the second fly must be a minimum of 12 inches from the first fly.  An articulated fly is no better than throwing bait on treble hooks.


The big browns of the Park are susceptible to unscrupulous fishermen and it doesn't take a whole lot of skill to put a serious dent in the Park's population of large browns.  Fly fishermen should know better. Play by the rules people!!!

Rant over.

6 comments:

  1. Seriously, that thing looks like a serious accident ready to happen to somebody or something. Agree with your rant. Sometimes I just have to scratch my head and wonder what people are thinking. I, am initially, not a fan of articulated streamer patterns. I know I am in the minority, but, that is what's great about fly fishing and the various techniques used. Hope you feel better now that your rant is over.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Mel. Articulated streamers are fun patterns but can definitely be dangerous. I've knocked myself in the head with streamers on occasion and it hurts without the hook even getting involved!

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  2. Completely justified rant... and I love the photo evidence.

    You may want to edit the second sentence: "Fly fishermen have long had a reputation for looking down on 'lower' forms of FLY fishing."
    I got a little confused about which forms of fly fishing might be lower until I read a bit further... so I think you meant to just say "lower forms of fishing."

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    1. Thanks Jay! I'll start sending my posts to you to proofread before publishing... :P Seriously though I think it is fixed now. Thanks again!

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  3. What can you say? We've all been around enough to see a lot of evidence of abuse. I once saw some fishermen catching fish after fish and throwing them into some brush. I lost count of how many, but several limits. As I was leaving I spotted a ranger and suggested he take a look behind the bush. Two tickets and confiscation of rods and reels. Happy ending.

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    Replies
    1. Great work Howard! I always wish we had more enforcement officers around and make sure to thank the ones I do run into for being out there.

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