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

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Peak of Fall Brings Great Fishing


This is my favorite season, but every year fall seems to be here and gone all at once. This past weekend featured the best fall colors we have had in a while depending on where you were. This week, a cold front passed through bringing some rain and lots of wind. The rain was fine, but I'm sure the wind was a nightmare if you were a leaf stuck on a tree. Lots of those have been spotted crashing  falling to the ground. The yard is now in desperate need of a rake and a few hours of my time.

All of this has created some tough conditions in the Smokies if you are a fisher person. Leaves in the water make for some difficult drifts. Thankfully, the worst of the 'leaves in the water' routine should be over in the next day or two and may already be. Not that the leaves have magically vanished, but they should be settling out of the current. That means to be careful of seemingly harmless leaf piles. People have been known to be swallowed up in those things.

On the brighter side, the fishing has been very good to excellent. Fish are eating dry flies of all sizes. Stick with large orange ones if you like like big bugs, while small ones of the olive variety should do well if you enjoy matching the smaller bugs of fall. The variety has been better than usual so have plenty of other patterns with you as well.

If you enjoy throwing streamers, you can even find some fish that way. In fact, just a couple of days ago I had one of my better streamer days ever in the Park in terms of fish spotted. Lots of those fish missed the hook however. Still it was a great day to be out and get some time in on the water for myself.

One of the best things about fall is the opportunity for sight fishing. Creep along the banks slowly and watch for trout. If you can see the fish without spooking it, then you have a great chance at hooking it with a good cast.

This past Monday, I had the pleasure of showing Don Armstrong some of my favorite places on Little River. He quickly picked up on the high stick techniques that are so important to success here. An orange Elk Hair Caddis in size #12 with a Mr. Sleepy (my Isonychia soft hackle pattern) underneath proved deadly with about 50% of the fish on top and the rest on the soft hackle.

The highlight of the day was when I spotted a nice fish under the current at the head of a large pool. Carefully showing Don where to cast, he maneuvered into position and made a great cast on the very first shot. The fish rose to the dry fly and we were soon admiring one of the prettiest wild rainbows you will ever see. Great fish Don!



While the end of the fall colors often signals a change to colder weather, this will not be the case this year. Next week, high temperatures are forecast to be well into the 60s and even lower 70s. This should bring the dry fly bite roaring back so plan on getting out to experience a late Indian summer this year.

If you are interested in a guided fly fishing trip, please contact me (David Knapp) at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com or call/text (931) 261-1884. Thanks!

6 comments:

  1. Hi, David.
    Great to see the Smokies in full color as Fall weaves its beauty. Hope you have a most splendid fishing and guiding season this Fall.

    Would you consider for me an update of my link on your blogroll when you get a minute. I took the summer off from the blogging scene and just a week or so ago kicked it in gear again. Here is my current blog link.
    http://grampsfishingjournal.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You got it Mel and thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  2. David, I wholeheartedly agree with you. The Smokies are beautiful in the Fall. Rocky Mt. Nat Park wasn't bad either. I heard an elk calling your name.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Howard, I definitely missed the golden aspen this year except for the small dose I enjoyed on my Yellowstone trip. Hopefully next year I can experience the Colorado version and go track down that elk while I'm at it.

      Delete

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