Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 09/04/2019

Fishing has slowed down in some places and heated up in others. Smallmouth bass fishing on the streams of the Cumberland Plateau has been good to excellent while the tailwaters have slowed down somewhat.

In the Smokies, streams are getting low and warm. Stick with mid and high elevation streams for now until we get some rain and cooler weather. Right now it looks like this will probably last for another week although we do have some rain forecast next week. Let's hope that happens! A variety of bugs are working here, but lean heavily on your terrestrial box. Yellow Stimulators in particular have also been good lately.

The Caney Fork continues to produce a few fish here and there. Stripers are still thick in the river which isn't helping the trout at all. As long as things stay dry, this will be a viable option. There are a few large fish present if you know where to look. Yesterday's big fish was a 21.5" rainbow caught while sight fishing. Don't expect that every day, but if you're prepared to put in your time, there are good fish to be caught (and released!!!).

The Clinch seems to be in the middle of the annual late summer drawdown of Norris Lake. High water will be the norm here for the next few weeks. If you don't have a boat, then don't bother except, possibly, during early mornings. Weekends are offering some morning windows but crowds will generally be thick as well.

Fall fishing is not far off. The Clinch should fish well unless we have a wet fall. Sometime between mid October and early November, we should see flows start to come down. The Smokies are my personal favorite for fall fishing. The fish will be hungry and maybe even looking up!

Photo of the Month: Guide Trip Fish of the Year for the Smokies

Photo of the Month: Guide Trip Fish of the Year for the Smokies

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Birthday Brown Trout


My birthday is long gone in the rearview mirror by now, but I'm still remembering a nice big brown trout I caught two days before my birthday.  In fact, the picture of this fish was last month's Photo of the Month, but until now I have not told the the story of this trout.

Each year, I have a birthday tradition that includes going fishing.  It doesn't always fall on the exact day, but I always make sure to enjoy some time on the water and relax.  Since I had to do some guiding a couple of days before my birthday, I decided to hang around at the end of the day and get some time in on the water.

Choosing where to fish is always a challenge, but I was soon on a nice stretch of pocket water with a good pool at the top of the section.  Working through the pocket water, I caught some nice rainbow trout on the same rig I had for my client.  Arriving at the pool after slogging through some fast water below, I noticed a nice brown trout out feeding.  Three casts with the nymphs produced one look but no eat, and I knew that to have any chance of catching that fish I would have to change flies.

Searching for the right fly box, I realized with a sinking feeling that it had been left in the car.  This was not the time to leave as I was in perfect position and moving again could spook the fish.  I would have to make do with what I had on me.  Finding a different box, I scrounged around for a good fly.  Noticing a streamer I had tied more as a combination between a joke and an experiment, I shrugged my shoulders and decided to try it out.  Fresh tippet came first and then the fly.  Glancing up, I saw that the fish had moved and would require a few moments of rest before I started casting again.

Finally, it slid back into its feeding position, and I started casting.  The first cast was too far to the left, but the next cast was perfect.  As the fly swung into view near the fish and I worked it with the tip of my rod, the fish charged over and inhaled the streamer.  I set the hook and lurched to my feet from the cramped position on my knees.  Immediate the fish made a run into the faster water below the pool, and I got nervous.  Somewhat encouraged when I saw the fly firmly stuck in the corner of his jaw, I focused on easing the fish out of the heavier current and towards my waiting net.

The moment of truth was anticlimactic as I got the net under the fish.  Sitting down, I held the net under water so the fish could rest and breathe.  After admiring it and taking a couple of pictures, I watched it depart quickly.  Nothing could top that moment so I waded across the stream and headed back to my car.  Some days, it only takes one fish and to ask for more would be greedy.

4 comments:

  1. It is a wonderfully conditioned fish, that's for sure.
    I can't agree with your last statements more. So, so true.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I think mindset is so important in fly fishing and to ask more from the river when it has already given so much seems wrong somehow.

      Delete
  2. That's a beauty for sure David. May you never forget that birthday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Howard! I'm fairly certain I won't forget it...

      Delete

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