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

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Not Every Day

"Can you handle a really rough stream? Like climbing over boulders and scrambling over logs?"  When the potential client answered in the affirmative, I decided to take a chance.  As a guide, safety always comes first.  Oh, sure, when I'm out fishing on my own I've been known to occasionally cut corners in the safety department.  I've taken some really hard falls also.  Getting into those tough to access streams is sometimes worth it although not always.

For this particular guide trip I decided to try a stream that is tough to access but not terribly difficult to navigate once you are in the stream bed.  Just hope it doesn't storm upstream.  Getting out includes a bushwhack and mountain climbing if you try in the wrong spot, maybe even if you try in the right spot.

The other detail for this particular trip is that my client would be a first time fly fisherman.  As with all guide trips, I never know for sure what to expect but with beginners that big question mark looms a little larger.  Some people take to the sport like a fish takes to water and others are more like Frog's Fanny meeting up with water.  Of course, the majority end up being somewhere between these two extremes.  Only the rarest of individuals can pick up a fly rod and start casting the rod with one hand, tending the line with the other, throwing mends in the line when necessary, setting the hook as quickly as required, and in general doing all of the little things that add up to fish caught.


When we arrived stream side, accessing the water was our first challenge.  After a long walk we got to the spot where we would jump in and start fishing upstream.  I gave a quick explanation of the mechanics of fly casting, and gave Stephen the fly rod.  Within about ten casts, with only a couple of suggestions, he was casting.  I showed him about holding the line with his other hand and he immediately started casting like he had done it his whole life.

Moving up the stream he started catching fish here and there, sometimes several per pool.  The first fish of the day was a gorgeous brook trout.


Later, another pool was good for a Smoky Mountain double.  Seriously, I've fished the Park a lot and had this happen only a couple of times.  This guy was on fire.


Eventually the day was over, but not before Stephen impressed me with how quickly he took to the sport.  There are very few beginners out there who can legitimately say they caught 25 or 30 trout on their first day of fly fishing.


The scenery was great as well.  The Rhododendron is past its peak at low elevations but good in the mid to high elevations right now.


It was a pleasure having Stephen out on the water for a day of fly fishing.  I wish him the best as he continues in this new hobby.

If you are interested in a guided fly fishing trip in the Smokies, please contact me at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com or call/text (931) 261-1884 or see TroutZoneAnglers.com for more information.  

4 comments:

  1. David
    Stunning scenery and some beautiful trout as a bonus. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice going David. Come back to Colorado. Apparently I need a guide on Clear Creek.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Howard, I'll send my resume over to area shops and let them know I'm already lining up clients...

      Delete

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