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 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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