Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 12/3/2019

Winter fishing is nearly upon us. Snow yesterday has given way to falling water temperatures in the Smokies. In general, fish will be hunkered down, although by tomorrow they should start to get more active again as temperatures warm. For the next three months, expect many more fish in the slower places in the Park. Think nymphs and maybe streamers but don't be surprised to find fish rising to blue-winged olives or midges on some days.

On tailwaters like the Clinch, brown trout and some fall spawn rainbows are doing their thing. This is a good time to review good ethics when it comes to spawning trout. Remember that these are the next generation of trout and the best thing you can do is to leave them alone. Avoid wading through spawning areas and don't fish for obvious spawners. For the foreseeable future, we should have high water thanks to big rains this last weekend. Fishing out of the drift boat will be very good through the winter with both nymphing and streamer fishing a distinct possibility. Want to swing for the fences and go for just one monster? Streamers will just get better and better going into January and February.

The Caney is slowly coming around. A few shad are coming through the dam, but lingering water quality problems are limiting the fishing. Winter streamer floats will produce shots at larger brown trout for anglers willing to work hard. Next spring should bring good fishing again.

Winter is our favorite time to get on the musky streams. In between bouts of high water, those will be fishing well for the next few months.

Photo of the Month: Big Fish Chuck Strikes Again

Photo of the Month: Big Fish Chuck Strikes Again

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fall High Water

Historically, fall is the driest season here in middle and east Tennessee.  In fact, October is the driest month climatologically speaking.  More often than not, however, we usually see at least one good high water event in the fall season.  The worst ones are when it blows out the spawn up in the Smokies.  The wild brown and brook trout need all the help they can get, and a serious high water event can practically wipe out an entire age class.

This year we got lucky.  I'm sure my clients who had trips cancelled would be glad to argue that point, but the fish will definitely be in good shape this year for the spawn.  With some areas receiving over 5 inches of rain, area creeks, streams, and rivers were really rolling by the middle of this week.  Little River peaked at over 8 feet on the Townsend gauge which is in the vicinity of flood stage.  When normal this time of year is under 2 feet, you can imagine that we are talking about a lot of water.

With all the streams blown out and unfishable, I decided that a drive up to Clear Creek would be a great idea.  The chance to see both the fall colors and the high water was just too tempting.  Sure enough, the river was higher than I have ever seen it, although to be fair I don't normally drive up there to look at high water.  Still, the normally tranquil stream was up in the trees and generally looking quite dangerous.  The colors were nice as well.  We are very close to peak colors here in the Cumberland Plateau and should see the best of fall during the next 2 weeks.  Some spots have already reached their peak but there are still plenty of colorful trees to enjoy.



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