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

Friday, January 02, 2015

First Rainbow Trout of 2015

Catching the first trout of 2015 was high on my list of things to accomplish yesterday, but it almost didn't happen.  With minimal time available to devote to fishing, I had to stay fairly close to home.  Even if I had made the drive to the Smokies, the very cold temperatures would not have been doing me any favors.

One of the winter stocking locations came to mind, and I started planning a quick trip.  Since Cumberland Mountain State Park was not stocked this past December due to a lake drawdown, I had to find another place.  Cookeville has a place I enjoy fishing on occasion that also just happens to have some trout stocked in the winter so I headed that way.

Arriving at the lake, I still had a rod rigged up from the other day and decided to just see what that would do.  Pulling some line off the reel, I made my first cast of 2015.  After letting the fly sit for a moment, I started a slow retrieve, stripping line in short 3-4 inch pulls.  Before I had moved the fly very far the indicator went down, and I set the hook on the first trout of 2015.  Seriously.  First cast, first fish.


Now, the question that I need answered is this: is it bad luck to catch a trout on the first cast of the year? Anyone who has fished long at all knows that catching a fish on the first cast of a fishing trip could be a bad sign.  In fact, this particular trip highlighted this very problem.  In a cold hour of fishing, I never had so much as another strike, much less a fish to hand.  The somber skies matched my concerned mood.  Bad fishing luck must be dealt with as quickly as possible so maybe I'll have to look into a new lucky fishing hat.


The hot chocolate waiting in a thermos in my car helped to warm things back up.  In fact, by the time I got home I was almost as warm as if I had not gone fishing to begin with.  The question of luck continues to nag me though, so it looks like I'll have to do some first hand research into the subject by forcing myself to go fishing and see if my luck improves.  I know, life is tough.

8 comments:

  1. The way I look at the first fish of the year is, now that that is out of the way, let's get on with the catching. What was the quote in that movie, "If you swing it, they will come." Maybe that's not quite right, but close enough.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like that Mark. Hopefully it will warm up soon so I can get on with the catching...

      Delete
  2. Nice going David! It was frigid up this way on New Year's Day too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mark, I'm just hoping it warms up a little sometime soon so the cabin fever doesn't get too bad. It is around 8 degrees out right now and dropping fast...

      Delete
  3. You're the man. No way was I worried about the first fish of 2015. Except store bought!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Howard. Let's hope there are many good days of catching ahead!

      Delete
  4. Well, David, I am a hat kind of guy. So I am thinking you better get a new hat for 2015 and start the trout quest feeling lucky!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mel, I think I agree. It might be time for a new hat. I usually get the same hat each time as it is hard to find ones that fit well so it might look the same.

      Delete

Newsletter

Subscribe to the Trout Zone Anglers Newsletter!

* indicates required