Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 01/08/2020

Unusually warm and wet conditions continue to prevail here in middle and east Tennessee. This upcoming weekend is looking like more rain and possibly even severe weather. The wind forecast is bad enough that I wouldn't bother going fishing until Sunday at the earliest unless you can go tomorrow.

In the Smokies, nymphing will be the name of the game, but don't be surprised to see some blue-winged olives from time to time. With all the high water, think streamers, big stoneflies, or worm imitations.

Tailwaters like the Caney Fork and Clinch are still rolling with a lot of water. Both rivers are over 10,000 cfs. While this is still fishable, I don't really recommend it. Flows this high are generally all about swinging for the fences if you feel like hunting a trophy. Many days it won't happen. Once in a while it will. Throw big streamers, hope for a shad kill, and get out there. Those big fish won't get caught if you're sitting home on the couch.

The Caney will produce decent fishing if we ever get flows back down at least a little. One generator would be ideal. Right now I'll even take two. Minimum flow looks a long ways off right now.

On the Clinch, you can throw streamers and also possible nymph up a few fish. If you pick your spots, there are places to nymph even on 12,000 cfs. Let's hope it gets back down to two generators or less soon. Every time we get a big rain event, look for some low water for a day or two or three. TVA will hold water back at tributary dams like Norris to reduce downstream high water effects. This gives those of us who like to wade a day or two to fish.

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: Starting the Year Off Right

Photo of the Month: Starting the Year Off Right

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Big Creek

While I generally feel like I know the Smokies pretty well, there are still several places in the Park I haven't fished.  Okay, there are a lot of places I haven't fished.  After all, with hundreds of miles of fishable water, the problem is one of time and accessibility.  The more accessible water is what I normally fish because I am usually low on time.  One place that takes a bit of effort to get to is Big Creek.


I chose the "miles of gravel road" route for my recent exploration.  Having only passed that entrance of the Smokies once before, I was in for a treat.  The stream reminded me a lot of other Smokies streams like the Middle Prong of Little River or perhaps even Little River proper above Elkmont, but what a wonderful little stream!  No, I didn't catch any monsters or for that matter even all that many fish, but fishing a new stream is always a great experience.  Each pocket, pool, and run provides the little surprises that always come with discovery.


One large pool had a deep section off to the side with a gentle current running through.  The surprising lack of conflicting currents meant that the cast was actually pretty straight forward.  The trout were obviously holding just under the surface and were rising consistently.  My third cast resulted in a fish.  In another pool, I surprised myself by setting the hook.  The dry had slowly sunk and I'm still not sure if I actually saw the fish or perhaps subconsciously my brain registered the swirl that was the fish taking right in the heavy current.  Either way, when I set the hook the fish was as surprised as I was.  Of course, these little surprises happen on my home waters as well, but there it lacks that new feeling.


Most surprising of all perhaps were the large pools.  Having never been there but always hoping to see it, I climbed out of the gorge right where the stream tumbles out, climbing straight up the side of what felt an awful lot like a cliff, and hit the trail upstream to the Midnight Hole.  It was as beautiful as the pictures I had seen and even larger than I realized.  My last fishing memory for the day was made on this pool.


Trout are everywhere in that pool, but were relatively tough to fool.  It wasn't until I noticed some rises against the far bank that things began to work out.  Checking for trees behind me, I was soon casting the big orange Elk Hair Caddis to the boulders across from me.  A nice trout ate and I managed to keep it on throughout the fight.


As much as I enjoyed fishing at Big Creek, I was actually on my way over to Cataloochee for 2 nights of camping and with luck would make it over there before dark to fish a little more.  Soon I was hustling back down the trail, but already knew that I would be back again, even if it is a little out of the way.




4 comments:

  1. Beautiful pictures ! Nice to see some trees with leaves on them

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    Replies
    1. Mark, it was a great fall down here but as usual it didn't last long enough.

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  2. I love that "miles of gravel road" route. Many of the places I fish out here are on "miles of gravel road". That's why Chevrolet made 4x4's. Nice color on those Rainbows.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Mark! There is something about traveling a ways on gravel that just makes you feel like you are alone. Good stuff for sure!

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