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

Monday, January 05, 2015

Clear and Cold Brings Us Closer to a Shad Kill

Here on the Cumberland Plateau, the recent storm system has moved out leaving us experiencing clear skies and cold temperatures.  Hope for a shad kill is on the upswing with the cold snap dropping temperatures in area reservoirs.

Each year we experience at least a small scale shad kill but in the best years it can bring the largest trout in the river out to feed.  By Thursday, we are expecting lows down near zero so it won't take a whole lot of time at these temperatures to bring down water temperatures in the lakes.  If we continue to have cold weather, I could see the shad kill here as early as the first of February although in some years it holds off until early March.  Once it starts, no one knows how long it will last.


In between tying flies and doing some writing, I've been able to get out and take some pictures.  The picture above shows how bright the sun is this time of year under mostly clear skies.  That cold blue color reminds me that the coldest temperatures are yet to come.  Here's to hoping for a really cold next month or so.  Then you'll know where to find me: floating down the river tossing white streamers...

6 comments:

  1. Hmm... sounds like an interesting "hatch". Must be some big browns eating those.

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    1. Some of the biggest fish in the river will come out to play if that hatch comes off!

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  2. David
    Beautiful image, any strips eating those shad this time of the year? Glad to be back with you guys after a while of not blogging

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    Replies
    1. Bill, it is really good to see you back! I hope things are going well for you and your family.

      As far as striper, I have not seen them on the Caney this time of year. Usually once it gets really cold they head back down to the Cumberland. Now, on the Tennessee River below Watts Bar and Chickamauga it is another story. Definitely some striped bass that are probably looking for shad on those tailwaters...

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  3. David, do you have a favorite "White Streamer" that you use? Maybe you covered this in a previous post, but, I must have missed it............................

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    Replies
    1. Mel, that is a great question that I will probably address a lot more in depth soon. Here is one pattern that I wrote about some time ago that I designed specifically to match our shad "hatches" here on the tailwaters of the southeast. The PB&J

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