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

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Big Brown Trout in the Great Smoky Mountains

Catching large brown trout in the Great Smoky Mountains is never guaranteed. Far from it in fact as large brown trout are definitely around but rarely hooked. For most anglers, catching one is the highlight of their year at minimum and sometimes even for their life. Yesterday, one lucky angler was fortunate enough to land one of the highly sought after big brown trout on Little River in the Smokies.

I had some guys from up north down to fish. For their first full day on the water, they hired me as a guide to help show them around and get them oriented to how we fish here in the Great Smoky Mountains. The morning started off quickly and it was not too long before each of them had caught their first Smoky Mountain trout including one who was fly fishing for the first time. This time of year, that is about as good as you can hope for so I was already quite happy as the guide.

We took a good lunch break and after getting fueled up for an afternoon of fishing, we hit the water again heading straight for a nice long pool that has room for more than one angler to fish. I got one angler started in the bottom of the pool after pointing out a few specific features with the instructions to fish thoroughly around those areas. Then I took the other angler upstream to fish the head of the run where I hoped we would find some trout feeding in the slightly faster water.

Before we had even really gotten into a rhythm fishing, the first guy yelled, "I think I have a good one!" Indeed he did and when I saw that golden flank flash in the sun I was all out sprinting down the bank with my net at the ready. Luckily all of the knots and 5x tippet held as they were supposed to and he did a fantastic job fighting the fish on his 8' 6" 4 weight rod. Before we even really had time to process what was happening, 22 inches of buttery brown trout was in the big net. Great job Steve and congrats on a memorable wild Smoky Mountain brown trout!

Little River Big Brown Trout in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Of course, a few pictures were necessary after which I tried to impress upon him how special of a fish this was for the Smoky Mountains. These fish don't come around every day and often not even every year, especially for most anglers. Applying good techniques and the ability to read water will go a long ways though towards eventually achieving the goal of catching one of these beauties!

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

16 comments:

  1. A big Brown is indeed a rare occasion.

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    1. Mark, each and every one is special for sure!

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  2. Impresive! Once again, perfect colors!

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    1. I've been fortunate to see some incredible fish lately!

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  3. Hey, David, congratulations to you both. The Guide and the Angler. A lifetime memory for one and a job well done for the other!

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    1. Thanks Mel. It is definitely one I'll be remembering!

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  4. David
    Rare indeed to land such a trout in the Smokies; just curious are there any trout stocked in the Little River or anywhere else in the Smoky Mountains?
    That guy should have a dry mount created from this outing; probably never happen again for him in the Smokies. This trout proves what I have always known about you; that having a fantastic guide can always make an outing special.
    Put me down for a wade trip on the Caney sometimes in April or May. Thanks for sharing

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    1. Bill, no stocked trout, just wild and native fish so this was a wild brown trout for sure. We'll definitely get together for a trip next spring.

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  5. Besides being big, that brown looks like a quality fish judging from the red spots, kype jaw, and red fringe in the adipose fin. Do you think that is a wild brown?

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    1. Mark, it was definitely a wild fish. No stocked fish can get to where we were fishing which of course makes it even more memorable.

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  6. Fantastic Smoky Mountain brown!

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    1. Thanks! It was special for both angler and guide!

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  7. You were like a little kid again when you ran past me yelling "he's got a big brown".. The excitement in your voice expressed to me the love you have for The Smoky Mountains trout and being an awesome guide/ person.
    Trust me, we never heard the end of it as Uncle Steve kept reminding us of his catch. I would have done the same thing as that Brown was not only big, but the colors are simply stunning.
    Thanks again for the guidance, awesome conversations, killer lunch and the chocolate brownies :)

    Tight lines,
    Lefty (the other Steve in the group)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by Steve! Yes, I was definitely excited. Seeing fish like that is not something that happens every day. I'll bet uncle Steve will remind you guys on all FUTURE trips as well.

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