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, July 22, 2015

Timber Rattlesnakes and Other Dangers in the Woods

This is your yearly reminder to be careful out there! There are lots of dangerous critters including timber rattlesnakes that are on the move and more aggressive than normal from now through August and into September. By October, things should be slowing down.

This time of year, we see the bald-faced hornets making nests over the creeks up in the Smokies. In fact, just last week I got nailed by one after a client's failed hook set caught a branch with a nest hanging from it. We never saw the nest until it was too late. Earlier this week, I almost had another run in and just yesterday, we counted 3-4 nests just on one short section of stream.

Always take time to look around before casting, especially this time of year. Of course, it is a good idea to do that anyways to find where your obstacles are, but especially for safety purposes right now.

Something else to be careful of right now are the snakes. On Monday of this week, we saw a timber rattlesnake in the woods on a guide trip. I warned the guys that sometimes the timber rattlesnakes will be down along the creek and even swim or be on rocks in the middle of the creek this time of year. Last evening, one of them emailed me to tell me that they had indeed seen one swimming in the creek and included a picture from after it crawled out on a rock mid-stream. Here is the snake we saw during the guide trip.

Timber rattlesnake in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park


In other words, the woods are a bit dangerous right now. That doesn't mean you shouldn't be fishing or hiking. On the contrary, this is an excellent time to be out fishing but be prudent when moving through the woods. Don't stick your hands into any dark holes or reach up over rocks while climbing around in the stream unless you can see where you are reaching. Watch for yellow jacket nests and hornet nests. In addition to the timber rattlesnakes, be on the lookout for copperheads right now also. In general, be mindful of your surroundings and you should have a great time out there!

10 comments:

  1. David
    Good post, I am no fan of snakes or anything that stings. Stay safe--thanks for sharing

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    Replies
    1. Bill, I don't really mind the snakes as long as I spot them before they get too close. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Anonymous7:44 PM

    David, thanks for making note of the fact that a Rattlesnake can swim. I have written about a couple of occasions that I had run-ins with Rattlesnakes in the water while fishing. I am often questioned about it. Most folks just don't think Rattlesnakes can swim. I got news for them!

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    Replies
    1. Mel, you are right for sure. They swim very well and even seem like they might be enjoying it!

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  3. Yikes! Glad I live in a place with very few poisonous snakes. Pretty, but happy to give them a good berth.

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    Replies
    1. I see more than I really care to and wish we had fewer for sure.

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  4. Luckily we don't have timber rattlers here, but we do have the smaller prairie rattlers galore in the area where I live. Thanks for the heads up David.

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    Replies
    1. Howard, I've only seen one prairie rattler in my life and it was a big one on a back road in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Beautiful snake but it would make me jumpy if one snuck up on me.

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  5. Some great reminders! I'm usually good at being mindful of my surroundings when I'm strolling through the woods or working a small covered stream. Haven't seen any nests/hives, yet, but I know I will soon be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Justin, it is definitely that season. Yellow jackets as well although I haven't seen as many of them...yet.

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