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

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Where We Are Fishing

Where have I been fishing? Not the lower elevation streams that are already excessively low for this time of year and running much too warm for fishing to be ethically acceptable. That much I can say. Of course, some trips have been on the Caney Fork River which fishes very well during dry years. However, up in the Smokies, the key is to head high to the high gradient mid and upper elevation waters that tumble down from the highest portions of the Park. Up high, water temperatures are still perfect for trout so you can fish with a clear conscience.

The rhododendron is starting to bloom and will work its way farther and farther up the hill as we move through the next few weeks. I've heard that the Flame Azaleas are peaking right now up on the ridges and balds. With a little luck I may hike up there this week to see the sight for myself before it is too late. The trout in the streams are happy and willing, but we could definitely do with a little more water.

Thankfully, the long range forecast is looking excellent. By late next week, a cooler and hopefully wetter weather pattern will kick in. In fact, if things get really good we'll even be back in the lower and mid elevations of the Park again. I can only hope.


If you are interested in a guided float trip on the Caney Fork River or in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, please contact me through Trout Zone Anglers, via email at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com, or call/text (931) 261-1884. 

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