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

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.

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    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.

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