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

Friday, June 13, 2014

One More Drift

Fishing is as much optimism as anything else, but of course there is a healthy mix of knowledge involved in catching a few trout.  Sometimes, there's even a little voice inside your head that convinces you to stick with it.  I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not but when I'm catching nice fish who's to argue?

Yesterday I had a 1/2 day guide trip in the Park.  The morning was spent on a couple of different streams so my client could see a few different options when it came to Smoky Mountain trout fishing.  After dropping him off and grabbing some lunch, I stopped by Little River Outfitters for a bit to say hi to Byron and Daniel and the rest of the crew.  After getting an excellent first-hand report on the local smallmouth from Byron, I was almost tempted to skip heading back to the Park and chase the bass instead, but thankfully trout won out.

On the drive down Little River to town, I had mentally been talking myself into fishing several good stretches.  One in particular stood out, and I decided to return there.  This is a beautiful section of pocket water interspersed with some smaller pools and a couple of deep runs.  For some reason this short 100 yard stretch does not get fished nearly as often as a lot of Park water but that's just fine by me.  I have always done well the few times I've fished it, and more people fishing it could very well put a damper on future expeditions.

Having just eaten and glad to finally relax after working hard all morning, I took my time rigging up the usual double nymph rig.  Some heavy split shot rounded things out well and assured I would be ticking the bottom.  I began casting lobbing the heavy rig into the deeper water and right away caught a little brown on the dropper.  At least I knew I was on fresh water.

Working slowly upstream, I maneuvered back and forth across the stream.  Catching a fish here and there, I noticed a nice deep slot against the far bank with a big rock on the stream side.  Perfect home for a brown.  Working carefully across the current, I was soon running my flies through the slot and alongside the rock.  A small fish was quickly caught and released but that rock just looked like a spot for a nice brown.  Time and again I got what appeared to be a perfect drift.  Not wanting to waste time on a pointless spot, I eventually decided to move on upstream.

That's when the little voice spoke up and demanded that I cast there once more.  Something subconscious maybe?  I don't know, but that gentle tap as the flies drifted up under the rock yet again was definitely real.  When I set the hook, I felt the hesitation and quickly came tight on a nice fish.

For its size, the fish really fought well, surging back and forth across the stream every time I tried to lift its head and slip the net under.  That it was a pretty brown trout was obvious and naturally gave me extra incentive to be careful and not lose it.  Of course, in a short amount of time (that naturally felt like forever) I was slipping the net under the trout.  After a couple of pictures, I gently held the trout in the current until it was ready to go.  All that effort to spend a minute or so with a fish probably seems ridiculous to some, but I was awfully happy at that moment.



The rest of the evening was anticlimactic.  The Yellow Sally hatch never came on strong although there was some egg laying activity that brought a few fish up.  I stuck with the nymphs and caught a good number of rainbows and small browns, but probably I should have just quit after the nice trout.  The time on the water was relaxing though and much needed.  Catching that nice fish early allowed me to really slow down and focus on the experience for the rest of the time.  I even stopped and took a few stream pictures, something I often forget to do in the rush to find more fish.



Next week I'll be back at it.  Maybe I'll just hit a small stream instead, or maybe I'll chase the larger browns again.  Either way, I know I'll always have an enjoyable time in the Smokies!

If you are interested in a guided trip in the Smokies for wild trout, please contact me at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com or check out my guide site, TroutZoneAnglers.com, for more details.  

4 comments:

  1. Nicely done. The prize for patience is often awesome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mark. The prize was worth the wait.

      Delete
  2. Nice looking fish David. If you were patient then you must be awesome huh?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Howard. The fish was awesome but not me so much. I am blessed though!

      Delete

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