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 01, 2014

What A Fish!

One of the toughest parts of guiding is probably similar to raising a kid, but I can only speak from experience on one of those.  I'm talking about watching someone else doing something and you just wish you could step in and help them do everything correctly.  If you're a parent, maybe you can let me know if that's about how it goes or not.  As I guide, I definitely know the feeling.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of guiding Shane for a day in the Smokies.  Having lived in Tennessee for a few years, but never making it over to fish the Smokies, it was high time he learned a little about the Park streams and how to catch the beautiful wild trout there.  With a cool start to the morning, I decided that fishing on Little River would be a good way to start the day and we stopped in a likely area.  After chatting a bit while rigging up and getting on our wading gear, we finally approached the stream.

Looking just downstream, I noticed a spot that I've long suspected had a nice fish.  After getting confirmation from Shane that he was willing to start his day with a challenge, I explained the approach, the cast, and the drift.  He nodded and started to work into position.  After a few drifts in which I felt we weren't getting deep enough, I added another split shot and he resumed casting.  A few casts later the indicator dove convincingly.  When he set the hook, a beautiful brown trout came all the way out of the water in a leap for its life.

Immediately I got nervous.  Fish like that don't come around every day, and certainly not in the Smokies.  Thankfully, I hadn't told Shane that his bottom fly was on with 6x tippet so he wasn't nearly as nervous as I was.  In fact, he was probably one of the calmest anglers I've seen with a nice fish on the other end of the line.  

While I was nervous and really concerned about losing that fish, Shane did everything he needed to perfectly, working downstream with the fish until he was able to lift its head so I could slide the net under it.  I had spent all that time worried, and in the end I didn't need to.  Shane did a great job fighting such a nice brown trout and clearly didn't need any help at all.  There are few people who can say their first Smoky Mountain trout was such a pretty fish.  Congrats to Shane on a job well done and a beautiful Smoky Mountain brown trout!




If you are interested in a guided fly fishing trip in the Great Smoky Mountains, please contact me via email at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com.  

4 comments:

  1. Great fish indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Shane looks as if he is a quick learner. Very nice!

    ReplyDelete
  3. David
    Absolute beautiful brown for the park. Congrats to Shane--thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete

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