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

Tailwater Float

On Wednesday, I loaded up the drifter and headed for a tailwater.  Rod had called to book a trip for him and his brother Barry who was visiting from out of state and wanted to show him a good time.  We decided on a half day float and confirmed details on where to meet.  Wednesday morning arrived and right on schedule they pulled in ready to fish hard!

We headed on up the river to drop the boat in.  Right as I was about to shove off from the ramp, another truck started backing down towards the water.  Looking up, I laughed when I realized it was the trout truck!  Good fishing for all, at least for a day or two!  He waited until we had cleared the ramp so I rowed out a bit and dropped the anchor.  This was a photo opportunity not to be missed.


After joking about how guilty we would feel if we pestered the freshly stocked fish, we shoved off and caught the current downstream.  A couple hundred yards down the river we started working our flies and right away we got the first fish in the net!  Barry was the first to strike, but that made sense because he was in the front casting brace.  The usual crowd of wading anglers were working hard so we maneuvered the boat to try and stay out of their way and were soon drifting down through open water.

Not too far down the river is a hole that I like to hit.  With the boat perfectly in position, I showed the guys where to drop their flies.  Barry had the hot hand again and soon a larger fish was tugging on the end of his line.  This fish turned out to be much nicer and in great shape.  He decided that perhaps a picture was in order for such a good trout.  We snapped a couple of quick shots and then I gently cradled the fish in the current until it surged off, hopefully to be seen another day.  Check out the belly on this rainbow! It has been eating well for sure...


By this time Rod had started catching some fish as well. I turned to suggest another spot to Rod when I sensed that Barry had set the hook.  Turning around I saw that he looked pretty serious.  When he told me that the fish was ever better than the nice rainbow I got serious as well.  The net came back out and before long we were celebrating a nice brown to hand with another picture!  Barry said it was his largest brown ever so he was understandably happy about it.


That brown ended up being the highlight of the trip, but we would have some other memorable moments.  One of the strangest things that has happened to me in a long time while rowing the river was when a large dead vulture drifted down on us while we were anchored in a good spot fishing.  I'm still not sure what happened to that poor bird.  Even more strange was when his friends started circling overhead as he drifted downstream.  I know they eat dead stuff but eating your buddy seems just a little strange.


Another cool moment was when Rod and Barry doubled up.  Barry had just hooked a nice rainbow when Rod hooked up as well as I was sliding the net under Barry's fish.  I kept the net in the water and got the nice brown in it as well for a couple double shot.


Finally we saw the takeout ramp approaching.  Barry wanted to strike once more and put one more nice brown in the net to round out a good day on the water.


These two brothers were great to have in the boat.  They fished hard and even participated in the good natured joking around about who was catching the best fish that I started.  In the end, honors for this trip went to Barry, but I'll bet that next time Rod will get a big one!

If I can help you with a guided wade or float trip, please contact me at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com
I'm permitted to guide in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and also do tailwater trips and Cumberland Plateau smallmouth bass trips.  We're looking to add some smallmouth float trips in the future as well.  

2 comments:

  1. Look at the beautiful color on that first rainbow.
    Nicely done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That rainbow was one of the prettiest I've seen in a while for sure. Thanks for the comment!

      Delete

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