Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 01/08/2020

Unusually warm and wet conditions continue to prevail here in middle and east Tennessee. This upcoming weekend is looking like more rain and possibly even severe weather. The wind forecast is bad enough that I wouldn't bother going fishing until Sunday at the earliest unless you can go tomorrow.

In the Smokies, nymphing will be the name of the game, but don't be surprised to see some blue-winged olives from time to time. With all the high water, think streamers, big stoneflies, or worm imitations.

Tailwaters like the Caney Fork and Clinch are still rolling with a lot of water. Both rivers are over 10,000 cfs. While this is still fishable, I don't really recommend it. Flows this high are generally all about swinging for the fences if you feel like hunting a trophy. Many days it won't happen. Once in a while it will. Throw big streamers, hope for a shad kill, and get out there. Those big fish won't get caught if you're sitting home on the couch.

The Caney will produce decent fishing if we ever get flows back down at least a little. One generator would be ideal. Right now I'll even take two. Minimum flow looks a long ways off right now.

On the Clinch, you can throw streamers and also possible nymph up a few fish. If you pick your spots, there are places to nymph even on 12,000 cfs. Let's hope it gets back down to two generators or less soon. Every time we get a big rain event, look for some low water for a day or two or three. TVA will hold water back at tributary dams like Norris to reduce downstream high water effects. This gives those of us who like to wade a day or two to fish.

Winter is our favorite time to get on the musky streams. In between bouts of high water, those will be fishing well for the next few months.

Photo of the Month: Starting the Year Off Right

Photo of the Month: Starting the Year Off Right

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Townsend USGS Gauge for Little River Working Again

After being on the blink for several days, the Townsend Tennessee United States Geological Survey (USGS) streamflow gauge on Little River is back up and running. For those that would prefer to just show up and see what the river looks like, more power to you, but I prefer to maximize my fishing time by being on the water during prime conditions.

A couple of tips to help you out on Little River this time of year include watching both stream flow/level and the water temperatures. This is winter, and while the fishing will often be slower than in the summer, the fish still have to eat. That means that the general trend of the water temperature will be more important than the actual temperature.

If the water has been 39 degrees or less for several days and then spikes up to 43 degrees, the fishing may be good. Those are the sorts of trends you should be watching for on the Townsend streamflow gauge.

Also, a bump in stream flow this time of year will often correspond with rising water temperatures. Because of our proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, a lot of our cold season rain events are warmer than you might expect. Fifty degree rain works like magic in bringing up water temperatures and in turn gets the fish a lot more active.

Start watching the streamflow on your favorite waters and you might be surprised at some of the correlations you discover with quality fishing.


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