Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 11/16/2017

Fishing is good on the Clinch River right now and that is where I'm doing most of my guiding and fishing. The Smokies have been good as well.

In the Smokies, the brown trout are wrapping up the spawn. Over the next few weeks, the opportunity to catch larger than average brown trout is definitely elevated. I like to throw nymphs or streamers right now and through the winter. Next spring should be good with hatches starting by the first of March and peaking by late April or early May. This is one of the best times to fish in the Smokies so start planning that trip now!

The Caney Fork is about a week away from seeing some more reasonable water levels. If the flows drop, expect some very good fishing as we move into the winter.

Photo of the Month: Evening in the North Woods

Photo of the Month: Evening in the North Woods

Friday, June 06, 2014

Please Help!!!

If you have ever fished in Tennessee, or if you ever hope to fish in Tennessee (seriously, we have some fantastic fishing), then please keep reading.  We currently are in the midst of a serious effort to fund our tailwater trout stocking program.  In short, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has pulled the plug on hatchery funding for trout.  I'm not sure whether this has to do with the budget cuts over the last couple of years or not, but that is not that point.  

The important part is that we may lose a lot of stocked trout.  That's where you come in.  Please check out the document from the latest meeting first.  It covers the alternative options.  Please note that the USFWS has said that funding through them is not an option unless congress appropriates a LOT more funding than they currently have.

So why is all of this important? Well, we only have limited natural reproduction on most tailwaters, with the Clinch and South Holston being two of the best in terms of wild fish.  Imagine if all of the other tailwaters were more or less barren and the anglers that normally fished them now crowded onto the already crowded Clinch and South Holston?  Even worse, imagine if all those tailwater anglers were so frustrated by the lack of quantities of fish (even on those rivers as both have lots of supplemental stocking) on the tailwaters and started hitting the wild mountain streams a lot harder.  In other words, the Smokies might become a bring your own rock sort of place.  I'm not too excited about that, and I hope you're not either.

Personally, as TVA is responsible for the dams being in place that created this artificial situation where native species cannot thrive, I think TVA should foot the bill on this one, but that could definitely be debated.  Ultimately it will be passed on to TVA rate payers as a rate hike.  However, current calculations are indicating that a rate increase of 5-10 cents per year is all that would be required to get this thing funded.  That's not bad.

In the end, the most important thing you can do to help is to contact TVA so that they know a lot of people care about our tailwaters.  It won't take much of your time, just go to http://www.tva.gov/hatchery/, read the page so you understand the issue, then scroll down to the bottom where you will find a link to submit comments.  Let TVA know that you care about trout in our tailwaters and that you believe the trout stocking needs to continue.  The more people that submit comments the better.  They have to realize how many people are utilizing our waters and they need to understand the economic impact that a cessation of funding would cause.  

Thank you for taking the time to read about this issue and sending in your comments.  With everyone's help, we can make a difference in maintaining the fantastic tailwater fisheries here in Tennessee!!!

7 comments:

  1. I'll have to look more into this. I can't believe they'd can stocking for this year. Especially with all of the out of state traffic they get for the Holston.

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    1. Kevin, they are not cutting it for this year. I believe the current funding agreement is good until 2016. The current discussion is about what happens after that...

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  2. I'm looking it over and passed the word to my buddy Tim who is moving to Tenn. next week.

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    1. Thanks Howard! That is much appreciated. The more people who are aware the better.

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  3. David
    Thanks for letting us know about this issue and yes I will be contacting TVA as soon as I complete my comment here. We are having the same problem in Alabama at Smith Dam tailrace. No funds to continue funding stocking. We are talking to issue to our local legislature leaders in this area and contacting Alabama Power for additional funding. At this stage nothing has happened. Our last stocking was two months ago. We will continue our efforts. Thanks for sharing

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    1. Thank you Bill! I hope you get your situation resolved down there in Alabama as well. Is there any natural reproduction at all in the Smith Dam tailrace? Are there any browns or just rainbows?

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  4. David
    We have no evidence of reproduction in the tailrace, we only have rainbow. We have been working to get browns stocked as well. If some of the powers to be had their way in Montgomery we wouldn't have any trout at all in the tailrace. Long story on that one.

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