Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 12/3/2019

Winter fishing is nearly upon us. Snow yesterday has given way to falling water temperatures in the Smokies. In general, fish will be hunkered down, although by tomorrow they should start to get more active again as temperatures warm. For the next three months, expect many more fish in the slower places in the Park. Think nymphs and maybe streamers but don't be surprised to find fish rising to blue-winged olives or midges on some days.

On tailwaters like the Clinch, brown trout and some fall spawn rainbows are doing their thing. This is a good time to review good ethics when it comes to spawning trout. Remember that these are the next generation of trout and the best thing you can do is to leave them alone. Avoid wading through spawning areas and don't fish for obvious spawners. For the foreseeable future, we should have high water thanks to big rains this last weekend. Fishing out of the drift boat will be very good through the winter with both nymphing and streamer fishing a distinct possibility. Want to swing for the fences and go for just one monster? Streamers will just get better and better going into January and February.

The Caney is slowly coming around. A few shad are coming through the dam, but lingering water quality problems are limiting the fishing. Winter streamer floats will produce shots at larger brown trout for anglers willing to work hard. Next spring should bring good fishing again.

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: Big Fish Chuck Strikes Again

Photo of the Month: Big Fish Chuck Strikes Again

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Back From Yellowstone


For the past two weeks, I have wandered at will across Yellowstone National Park, always with two or three fly rods strung up and ready to go. I caught large brown, rainbow, and cutthroat trout and mountain whitefish. Taking a vacation with no special plans other than to fish was a lot of fun. The opportunity to wake up each day and decide where to fish on a whim was refreshing, but I'm nearly as excited to get back to my streams in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Caney Fork.

The fish above was caught on the Firehole River below the falls and was one of the fish that had made its way up from Hebgen Lake. Lots of great fish were caught so stay tuned for much more on this great fishing trip including plenty of pictures and even some pattern tips and recipes!

I expect some large trout to be caught on the Caney Fork over the next two months, primarily subsurface on nymphs and midges but also a few nice fish will come to streamers and even dry flies.

In the Great Smoky Mountains, rainfall over the last few days has helped to bump up stream levels. We can only hope for more rain as we go into the fall season but the fishing should be great regardless. Look for fall caddis, blue-winged olives, and still some slate drakes and golden stoneflies to keep the fish fed.  Drop a small nymph or midge under your dry fly to double the fun. Terrestrials will also account for some fish up until the first hard freeze so keep those inch worm and ant imitations handy. Beetles have been gone for a while but if you come across a particularly difficult fish, try a beetle on it.

The dry fly fishing should be good to great for at least the next month and perhaps well into November if we get a good year with no extremely cold fronts coming through until later in the month. Stock up on #12-#14 Orange Stimulators and #18-#24 Blue-winged Olive Parachutes and head for the mountains to enjoy the fishing before winter hits and slows things down.

6 comments:

  1. Hi David
    I really wish we had been out there when you made your trip, I would have tried to make a connection and fished with you. We were blown away by the beauty of Yellowstone when we were there. Did you stay in the park?
    The Shoshone River was beautiful, did you fish any part it? Looking forward to your extended report. Thanks for sharing

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    Replies
    1. Bill, it would have been fun meeting up with you. Perhaps another you! I did not fish the Shoshone River at all on this trip. I stayed at Norris and Madison campgrounds while I was there.

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  2. That thing looks so much like a steelhead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought the same thing. Pulled pretty hard also but I doubt anything close to as hard as a steelhead although I can't say from personal experience.

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  3. Been waiting for you to get back to dazzle us with more like the rainbow above.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Howard, I'm not sure about dazzling, but I have some more fish pictures coming along.

      Delete

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