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, April 17, 2015

Variety

There is a lake nearby that I've been fishing off and on for a few years. Despite a lot of pressure, it seems to always produce something, even if it is just big bluegill and redear sunfish. The lake is managed for quality bass fishing and in the winter it receives a stocking of trout. Oh, and it has a boat ramp, one that I've never used.

All of my previous forays have been on foot. The lake is relatively accessibly to the shore angler and there is something fun to me about sneaking around a lake with a fly rod and trying to quietly approach fish near the banks for a good presentation. Naturally, as soon as I got the boat last year, I started to wonder how the lake would fish if I could really get around and chase the fish properly. Fast forward to last week when a friend mentioned that they would be passing through and wanted to do a little fishing. I saw a great opportunity to get out and do some exploring and also have a good time catching fish.

When we dumped the boat in at the ramp, the first thing I noticed was a steady breeze out of the southwest. Wanting to row to the southwest end of the lake, I mentally prepared myself to fight the wind. Soon we were moving along nicely. I anchored up a bit off shore so he could tie on a lure. 

While he was busy, I started using one of the 3 fly rods I had along. A four weight, five weight, and seven weight would allow me to fish a variety of flies and hopefully target different fish. The four weight had a small bead head Simi Seal Leech, the five weight had a Clouser Minnow, and the 7 weight had a Diamond Hair Minnow in rainbow trout colors. Those bass grow big by feasting on the leftover stockers in the spring as the water warms.

After fishing a few minutes, I started rowing again and at our next stop, I quickly caught two small bass on the leech. Soon my buddy Alex was convinced to try the fly rod. After a brief description of the cast, he was casting well enough to catch fish and we kept fishing. Over the next 30 minutes, I found another bass, this one nice enough for a quick picture, and Alex lost or missed several fish including at least one nice trout and several bass. Thankfully he finally caught a good bluegill before he could get too frustrated.



We continued on around the lake, and eventually Alex caught the trout he was looking for which was his first ever as well as first on a fly rod obviously.


I rowed for the most part although when a particularly good section of bank would come along, down went the anchor and I fished the Clouser, catching a few nice bass in the process.


Finally, it was getting late. Alex had a long drive back home ahead of him so we headed back out. I'm sure he will be back because, when we finished, he told me that it "was the best fishing I've had in a long time!" I know for sure I'll be back. I never did find those big torpedo shaped bass that will chase the rainbow trout. The variety is also fun, and I can't wait to try it again!

If you are interested in a guided trip here, please contact me at (931) 261-1884 or via email at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com.

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