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

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Hungry Late Winter Bass

So yesterday I realized that I was getting more than a little tired of the cabin fever, as in tired enough to do something about it. So naturally I strung up a 5 weight St. Croix Legend Ultra that has been a favorite rod for over 10 years and headed to a nearby lake that I love to fish in the spring (video).

As some of you  probably know by now, I am fond of smaller patterns for bluegill and crappie, smaller than most other people are fishing in fact. Specifically, like my friend Bill Trussell over at Fishing Through Life knows, I tie and fish a LOT of Simi Seal Leeches. Black is my favorite color although other colors work great as well. For this trip, I tied on a black #12 Simi Seal leech with a bead head before leaving the house so I could focus all my time on fishing once I arrived at the lake.

When I got there, a decent amount of ice and slush still existed on the lake's surface. Despite the warming trend of the past couple of days, the lakes are still very cold and holding on to the ice. Admittedly, I was a bit concerned about the fishing prospects. Ice on the surface didn't seem like a positive thing for the fishing but since I was already there I wasn't going to leave without casting a little bit at least.

The heavy fog that kept rolling through the area made for some beautiful scenes. As the assumption that the fishing would be slow took hold, I started to gain more interest in documenting the scenery. It may be a stretch of the imagination, but can anyone else see a giant butterfly in the picture below? Or maybe it is an angel, I'm not sure.



Eventually I got back to fishing with the plan to fish for a few minutes and then head home. What I was really looking for was some early season crappie. Usually you can start catching them on this particular body of water by the first of March. Since this year was unusually cold, I didn't have a lot of faith in finding any but knew where to cast in case they were around.

On the second cast to a very good drop off that normally has some fish hanging around, I looked down just before pulling my fly out of the water at the end of the retrieve. You can probably imagine how surprised I was when I noticed a shadow behind the little leech pattern. I stopped and let the fly start to drop past the fishes nose. That did the trick! It opened its mouth and inhaled the fly.



My surprise was even greater when, after hooking the fish, it finally came to the surface and I realized it was not a crappie or a bluegill but a little bass. That made my day. I was happy enough to be satisfied with one fish. After all, I probably had only fished for 15-20 minutes, taken a few pictures of the landscape, and caught a bass. How much better could it get?

The fog had rolled back some while I was fishing, so after releasing the fish, I took another picture or two. Maybe 4 or 5 more casts were made but I knew that it was time to head home. The trip was a success, and it is a poor sport who demands more from the water than one deserves. I had already been blessed beyond my expectations and figured that it wasn't a good time to get selfish.


Today we have some rain moving in or else I would be out there again. Maybe we'll get a break in the rain that is long enough for me to get back out there. I know there are some monster fish in that lake and today is probably as good a day as any to try and catch one. They are probably hungry after such a long cold winter...

8 comments:

  1. Nice pics David! Glad the bass wanted to play!

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  2. Glad to hear and see that you were able to get out. I am a little jealous as we are expecting around 10 inches of snow tomorrow. Im looking forward to finally being able to get out myself. I also enjoy throwing smaller flies for the panfish.

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    1. Thankfully we didn't get too much winter weather here this time and it should melt off soon. I'll be fishing again this next week for sure. Good luck up there thawing out. Hope you can get out on the water soon.

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  3. Nice job, David. Appreciate the pictures, too. Thought I saw the Butterfly on my computer screen. But, alas, I was wrong it was only a small cookie smudge on my screen. Getting old is tough! By the way, I also fish a lot of Simi-seal leeches on the ponds out here, too!

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    1. Mel, glad I'm not the only one who enjoys the Simi Seal leeches. They sure catch a lot of fish!

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  4. Nice! I've got about another month before the warm water activity here starts.

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    Replies
    1. I think ours should really get going in another couple of weeks but with all the crazy weather who knows.

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