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

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Water, Water and More Water


The last few months have been an excruciating roller coaster of hope that repeatedly ends up dashed in rain swollen creeks and rivers.  My local tailwater has seen high water forever.  Granted, the fishing has still been okay, but for those of us who enjoy wading at least as much as floating, the situation has now become dire.  This weekend featured the first low water in a long time, and of course I was too busy to make it down.  Oh, and it also rained this weekend.

Yes, the rain is the culprit.  Knowing how some of my friends out in California have been parched for years, it seems just a little selfish to complain about rain.  Seriously though, every time the river gets to the point that we can have some low water, it rains again.  Every. Single. Time.  So, I'll continue to enjoy my fresh air in other ways.

This weekend, a quick outing to a nearby creek helped me to at least get out of the house.  I'm not sure if it was that good for me.  Seeing all that water flowing downhill towards the upper Caney Fork drainage confirmed what I had been afraid of: now we'll be lucky to be able to wade by Christmas.




So, I'm back to hoping that it doesn't rain for a couple of weeks and thinking about other places to fish.  Up in the Smokies, the brown trout have finished their spawn so they should be feeding well over the next few weeks.  I've got musky on the brain as well and may have to get out there and chase them within the next week or two.  Fishing must go on, even if it isn't where I had hoped...

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