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, June 02, 2014

Dangerous Critters

Fishing is dangerous.  Many people think of fishing as something where you sit in a lawn chair and watch a bobber with a worm under it.  While that is a perfectly good way to fish, people don't realize that many of the more adventuresome types are scrambling along rugged shorelines or through remote canyons in an effort to reach less-pressured water.  There is good reason for that of course.  Most people are lazy and a bit of effort can put you on water where the fish rarely if ever see a fisherman.

On yesterday's smallmouth trip, we started to see significantly more action as we got farther and farther from the road.  Several times over the course of the trip, I almost commented to the guy I was guiding about how I have never seen any poisonous snakes in that particular area even though they are rumored to be there in good numbers.  Something kept nagging at the back of my mind though, and I kept my mouth shut.  It turns out that just thinking about it is enough to jinx a person.

While scrambling over rocks and through brush stream side, I suddenly froze like a bird dog coming to a point.  In a small crevice right under the rock we had come over on the way down was a nice big copperhead just waiting for an unsuspecting fisherman meal.  I've climbed over those rocks many times, often while only wearing sandals.  After I found my way back down to earth from the upper atmosphere where I had involuntarily jumped to, I realized the snake was still a good 6-8 feet away and got out my camera while keeping one eye checking the area for its mate.


In the end, it was actually interesting to see a copperhead.  It was the first I've run into since returning home from Colorado.  If I see a few more I might just have to move back, but in the meantime the fishing is good enough to keep me coming back to those smallie streams.  I guess I learned why no one fishes them too...

8 comments:

  1. Copperheads are supposedly all over an area I like to fish. I wonder how many I walk past because I never look for them. Sometimes I hear things rustle through the grass as I walk by. I usually dismiss it as a lizard or small bird. I'm usually so worried about getting to the next fishing spot to notice what it really is.

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    Replies
    1. Kevin, copperheads worry for precisely that reason. You can get extremely close and they will not move plus they blend in so well. I've stepped over quite a few in my life and usually notice them in mid stride.

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  2. Those, supposedly in the know, are predicting an aggressive Snake year. If I would have came across this snake, I think I would have ran all the way back to Colorado!

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    1. Mel, I almost headed for Colorado when I saw it! At least the rattlers in the lower elevations out there let you know they are around...

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  3. I hate snakes. Harmless or poisonous, makes no difference to me.

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    1. Howard, you would not have enjoyed this smallmouth trip then. I've already seen a lot of snakes this year. Not sure what is up with that...

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  4. I'm in the snake hater camp. I appreciate their role in the ecosystem, but I don't want to see them. My fear is crippling. I gasped when I saw the above photo.
    Mel is right about the aggressive snake year. A little two year old was bit by a rattler on a trail near my house - no provoking just walking. Those rattlers are why I don't hike below 8000' come May 1.
    -steph

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    Replies
    1. Steph, the rattlers make me uneasy because their toxin is so much worse than the copperheads we have here. That 8000' rule is a good one!

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