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, December 02, 2014

Tossing Streamers


When David Perry texted me last week about the possibility of a streamer float, I made sure to clear my schedule.  A day on the river throwing streamers is tough to turn down.  The flows on the Caney have been a bit erratic lately but drifting and throwing flies is better than sitting at home.  A 9:00 a.m. start was a welcome change from some of the early mornings I have to put in for fishing over in the Smokies.

After meeting at the ramp and dumping his boat, we were soon experimenting.  On a guides' day off, lots of experiments go on.  This is part of what helps a good guide keep things dialed in as well as scratch the curiosity itch.  Some deep nymphing was attempted but for the most part we stayed with the streamer game.

I had several early drive by swings from fish who weren't interested in a second look, but after switching rowers a few times, neither of us had yet connected.  Finally, a good half way through the float, we got to the one bank I had been looking forward to fishing.  I had on a new rig that someone showed me earlier this year that has a ton of potential.  It uses a tippet ring to set up a two streamer rig with a larger streamer chasing a smaller one.

Sure enough, after just a few moments on this bank, a beautiful rainbow clobbered the larger of the two flies.  After a quick picture, I dutifully offered to take my turn rowing.  On slow days, it is usually reasonable to switch after just one fish.  David P. generously offered to row a little bit longer, and I didn't take time to argue!

Photograph by David Perry

Just a few feet more down the bank, I made a perfect cast to the bankside water, let the sinking line get down for a couple of seconds, and then started the retrieve.  On the second strip the line came tight and with the flash I knew it was a nicer fish.  With a 7 weight it would seem like you could horse one of these in a little faster, but this fish bulldogged like the brown trout that it was.  Each time I got it close to the net, it managed to get its head back down and take off again.  Finally, we got it in the net, and I noticed it had taken the smaller of the two flies.  Maybe it thought it was racing the other streamer to the food.  Whatever the reason, the two streamer rig had worked to perfection, and I was happy.


Naturally, when I again offered to row, David P. quickly accepted.  In fact I think he would have tossed me out of the boat if I didn't row after getting such a nice fish.  Over the rest of the float, he boated a good number of fish including a beautiful brookie and a 16 inch brown right near the takeout.  We never did see that monster we were looking for, but that's streamer fishing for you.  I'll happily take the quality fish we did find any day.



If you are interested in a day of streamer fishing, the river is dropping into the sweet spot and should provide great streamer action through the colder months.  Just give me a call or drop me an email at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com to set up a trip!

6 comments:

  1. No clues as to what streamers?

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  2. Mark, the larger of the two streamers was basically a Stacked Blond in yellow (see Kelly Galloup's book for more on that fly). The smaller fly that was getting chased was a little white fly that is my own personal modification of a Clouser (in white).

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  3. Love throwing streamers. Looks like a great day, even if it started off slow. Congratulations sir. I always have to chuckle to myself when I get a little brookie streamer fishing.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Atlas. Those brookies certainly have an appetite and always surprise me by what they are willing to tackle.

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  4. Whenever I go fishing now I fish streamers half the time.

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    Replies
    1. Kevin, I've been fishing them more and more, probably even more than I really ought to if catching fish is my goal. There is just something about watching a fish chase down the fly that is incredibly fun and addicting!

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