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

Monday, October 19, 2015

Slow Fishing but Quality Fish

The Caney Fork River has been going through its late summer and early full funk lately but is showing signs of breaking out as we get closer to November. Several floats over the last couple of weeks have produced lower than normal numbers of fish but some shots at quality trout. The numbers should improve as we head into November.

Today we started early and landed the best fish of the day within sight of the ramp. It was a solid 16 inch rainbow. Later in the float, a larger rainbow broke off the 6x tippet that is required on these fish while a very nice brown came unbuttoned right at the boat. Some browns are starting to move around and this prespawn time is a great opportunity to sight fish to some large fish. Please leave the fish on redds alone though. Look just downstream from the redds for some great fish eating everything getting stirred up by the spawners.

My first trip back from Yellowstone on the Caney produced the best fish of the fall so far, a solid 19" rainbow. The fish was caught by Gary Dowd who did everything perfectly to land this solid trout. Hooking them is only half of the battle at best, and these large fish will normally pull out all the tricks once hooked.

Caney Fork trophy rainbow trout


Conditions will continue to improve as we go into November. If things stay relatively dry, expect the river to have very good float conditions by the first week or two in November hopefully.

If you are interested in a guided fly fishing trip on the Caney Fork River or in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, please contact me at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com or call/text (931) 261-1884. Thanks!

-David Knapp

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