Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 05/08/2019

Fishing is good to excellent just about everywhere now. Lots of bugs are hatching including mayflies, caddis, and stoneflies. Little yellow stoneflies are hatching well now making a nymph imitation a good bet. Light Cahills, Sulfurs, Pale Evening Duns, March Browns, Blue-winged Olives, and others are on the water at times. Golden stones are now hatching well also. Try a #14 Yellow Stimulator and a #16 bead head Pheasant Tail and be ready to catch fish!

On the Clinch River, sulfurs have started and fish are responding to dry fly imitations. This is some of the most exciting and also the most challenging fishing of the whole year. Pinpoint accuracy at distance is needed, but the rewards can be large. Water is now mostly higher making float trips a requirement. If it will quit raining sometime soon, lower flows should return.

The Caney Fork is up and down each day. Right now it is mostly up and will stay that way as long as it keeps raining. Streamer fishing in particular was great on one generator. Moving forward, this river should continue to fish better and better for the next month or two.

Warm water streams are starting to turn on very well. Smallmouth bass are aggressive now. This is the spawning season for these fish, so please be careful where you wade and leave spawning fish alone.

Photo of the Month: Big Brown Trout on Deep Creek

Photo of the Month: Big Brown Trout on Deep Creek

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Winter Fishing in the Smokies


Winter fishing does not have to be all about frozen guides and numb fingers.  In fact, if you choose your moments, the fishing can be as good as during the warmer months.  This fact was driven home yesterday on a guide trip I had in the Park as well as afterwards when I fished a bit for myself.

Guiding in the winter can be a tricky proposition.  The generally cold water temperatures and sluggish trout means that the catching can be tough even for the best of anglers.  Over the last few days we have experienced a welcome reprieve with water temperatures at the Townsend USGS gauge flirting with the 50 degree mark yesterday.  That is almost always a good thing, especially this time of year.  When we hit the stream for a half day trip starting in the late morning, I was not sure what to expect.  When 2 of the guys had fairly hard strikes early on I was feeling better.  Getting new fly fishers on fish can be tough, but when the fish are hitting hard it helps a lot.

We finally hit up a pool that always holds a lot of fish and really started to do well.  In fact, the three guys took turns and caught a total of 6 fish out of that one hole.  The lesson there is that when you find fish in the winter, there will probably be several.  Wintering holes will have a lot of fish stacked into a small space.  Look for deep water with moderate to slow current with easy access to food.

By the time the guys had each caught a couple, I decided to head downstream to another section to see if we could find water where they could all fish at the same time.  We got on a few more good spots and landed another trout before we had to call it a day.  It was at this last spot that I started seeing the bugs hatching.  Midges were everywhere and some caddis were making an appearance as well.  I even thought I saw a mayfly but was not positive on that.


After dropping the guys off at their cabin and stopping by Little River Outfitters to see Daniel and Bill for a few minutes, I headed back up to the Park to see if I could scare up a few myself.  Sure enough, it didn't take long before I was catching trout.  Over the next hour and a half, I caught and released 17 trout.



The fishing was so good that I decided to see what they wouldn't eat and tied on a Green Weenie.  Sure enough, I kept catching fish.  I even had at least 2 solid strikes on the strike indicator which tells me that I could have caught at least a few on dries.


So, the other lesson for the day was that warm water will almost always be a good thing in the winter.  I think the best part about the water temperatures yesterday though was the fact that they had risen gradually and didn't need a big push of rain water to help them climb.  The fish were feeding like it was their last meal.  Maybe they knew it was about to get cold.  The temperature has been dropping steadily ever since and will through at least tomorrow.  I'm just glad I got to be there on such a good day!

3 comments:

  1. Not bad for a winter day in the park!

    ReplyDelete
  2. David, now that is the kind of winter fishing scenario that a guy likes for sure. Put up with cold, get some bugs going, and, new fly fishers are born. You did well out of the bullpen, too. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete

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