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

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Stripping Streamers

Anyone who knows me as a fisherman knows that I love stripping streamers for hungry trout and anything else that will hit, so naturally I wasn't about to turn down an invitation to float with David Perry of Southeastern Fly this past Sunday.


With the heavy generation we have been experiencing, we decided that an early start was pointless and instead decided to enjoy a little extra sleep compared with most fishing trips. By the time we met up a little after 9:00 a.m., I was ready to hit the water hard.

Early on, we tried a lot of different tricks. I had some eats on a dry/dropper rig I've been playing with, but lost the only fish I hooked. Before long, we knew that the generation was going to be dialed back and hopefully that would put the fish in a good eating mood.

Sure enough, almost as soon as the water started to drop we started to see flashes and get a few hits. I had been on the oars for a while and by the time the water was falling out it was my turn to fish again. Somehow I got lucky and found myself in the front of the drifter. The view from the front is better than the view as the rower!


I was experimenting further with some double streamer rigs that worked well my last time out stripping streamers. On this trip, everything came together, and I was really in the zone with follows every cast it seemed. The only thing that eluded me on this trip was the big one. As far as numbers went, it was my best day on streamers in a long time.



The 3 photographs above are courtesy of David Perry of Southeastern Fly

The big one did give me a chance, I should mention. Apparently it was not meant to be though. I got a great hookset as I watched one of the coolest boat-side eats I've seen in a long time. The fish jumped a couple of times as well. Everything seemed like it was working great. It just wasn't meant to be on this trip unfortunately.

The good news is that I know where this fish lives, and even have a pretty good idea what he might like to eat. I'll be back looking for this fish and hopefully some that are much larger as well. The fish I did catch were all very healthy since virtually nobody has been out there harassing them. That means we can look for ward to a great year in 2015.


Looking ahead, we have some good flows finally on the horizon for streamer fishing. Next weekend it appears we will even have some low water to enjoy. Best of all? I currently have Sunday available for anyone wanting to get out and eliminate their cabin fever. The bad news? The weather on Sunday is calling for rain. Still, if you want to get out and fish, a half day float is not a bad idea right now if you are up for stripping streamers or maybe even some nymph fishing in the rain.

10 comments:

  1. I've had days with hundreds of follows and half hearted takes and no fish at all, I'd say you did really well. I'd kill to be down there on Sunday, I'm currently looking at about 2 feet of snow and it's still coming!

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    1. Man that sounds rough! Although I'll be honest and say that I would love to have a good snowfall. So far our best this year was 3 inches back in November.

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  2. Sounds like a great day. Like those hungry trout I can't pass up on streamers either...keeps me up at night!!

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    1. Same here! I find myself daydreaming about it as well. Only downside is when I'm daydreaming while driving...

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  3. Nice healthy looking 'Bows.

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    1. Thanks Mark! They seem to be in great shape so far this year.

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  4. I've only floated once and of course I didn't have to worry about generation. What a blast.

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    Replies
    1. Howard, it is definitely a fun way to fish.

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  5. Stripping Streamers is fun anytime and for whatever fish you are looking for. That being said, over the years, have not had much opportunity to fish from a drift boat. I do remember some excitement though from my last trip on the South Fork of The Snake River in Idaho. Thanks for jogging my memory.

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    Replies
    1. Mel, you and Howard need to book a flight to TN and I'll put you guys in the drifter.

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