Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 09/04/2019

Fishing has slowed down in some places and heated up in others. Smallmouth bass fishing on the streams of the Cumberland Plateau has been good to excellent while the tailwaters have slowed down somewhat.

In the Smokies, streams are getting low and warm. Stick with mid and high elevation streams for now until we get some rain and cooler weather. Right now it looks like this will probably last for another week although we do have some rain forecast next week. Let's hope that happens! A variety of bugs are working here, but lean heavily on your terrestrial box. Yellow Stimulators in particular have also been good lately.

The Caney Fork continues to produce a few fish here and there. Stripers are still thick in the river which isn't helping the trout at all. As long as things stay dry, this will be a viable option. There are a few large fish present if you know where to look. Yesterday's big fish was a 21.5" rainbow caught while sight fishing. Don't expect that every day, but if you're prepared to put in your time, there are good fish to be caught (and released!!!).

The Clinch seems to be in the middle of the annual late summer drawdown of Norris Lake. High water will be the norm here for the next few weeks. If you don't have a boat, then don't bother except, possibly, during early mornings. Weekends are offering some morning windows but crowds will generally be thick as well.

Fall fishing is not far off. The Clinch should fish well unless we have a wet fall. Sometime between mid October and early November, we should see flows start to come down. The Smokies are my personal favorite for fall fishing. The fish will be hungry and maybe even looking up!

Photo of the Month: Guide Trip Fish of the Year for the Smokies

Photo of the Month: Guide Trip Fish of the Year for the Smokies

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

January Brook Trout


As the calendar turned from 2015 to 2016, I began to think about fishing goals for the new year. I'm not a resolution kind of a guy because why wait until the calendar changes to get things on track? However, from a fishing perspective, it is easy to get stuck in a rut and keep doing the same thing each time I get out on the water. With that in mind, I've set a goal to catch a brook trout each month of the year. Originally I even contemplated doing it using dry flies only or maybe Tenkara, but for now those ideas are on hold.

Still, when I decided to head up to the mountains this past Sunday, I knew the early morning hours would be spent chasing brown trout. After having such a good day the previous Sunday, I figured it was too good an opportunity to ignore. I still had that monster to track down and land. For some reason that fish was nowhere to be seen. After doing a lot of scouting and a little bit of casting, all I had to show for it was 3-4 half hearted chases and one fired up fish that couldn't find the hook. The time had come to move on to plan B.

Before heading to one of my favorite brook trout streams, I rolled into Townsend to warm up and chat with the guys at Little River Outfitters. A short stop turned into a longer one as the nice warm shop was hard to leave. I knew that I might not get back to the mountains much again in January though so I eventually forced myself back out into the cold to go find those brook trout.

When I lived in Colorado, winter time streamer fishing on Boulder Creek right in the middle of the town of Boulder was one of my favorite things to do. I could get out for an hour or two, walk the ice along the banks, and maybe even catch a trout or two. Often I would be surprised by nice brook trout that hammered the streamer so I knew that they loved streamers. If you know me this is probably shocking information, but I actually have not fished streamers for brook trout in the Smokies, until this past Sunday that is.

As it turns out, the native brook trout of the Smokies like streamers as well although water temperatures in 30s meant that the hits were few and far between. I did get this beautiful fish on just the second or third cast which meant I could relax the rest of the time and not worry as much about catching trout.


Able to enjoy myself, I spent more time looking around than fishing after catching that trout. My camera provided another avenue of enjoyment. Here are a few of the stream shots. Notice the dusting of snow on this cold January day.




14 comments:

  1. David
    You are one lucky guy to live in an area with streams that beautiful. Colorful brook on the streamer; how were you fishing it? Thanks for sharing

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    1. Bill, I was hitting the soft and deep pockets and pools and working it with the rod tip. The stream was small enough that there wasn't a lot of casting to be done so mostly high sticking...

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  2. It's wonderful to see the ambition of a wild brook trout. They will try to eat most anything the can get in their mouth.
    Nice stream flows.

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    Replies
    1. We have been blessed with good water lately. These small streams are some that I prefer lower water.

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  3. David, I haven't fished Boulder Creek in town for two years. I had to fight off dogs chasing sticks thrown by thoughtless pet guardians and homeless washing their feet. By coincidence, it's also the last time I caught a brookie.

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    Replies
    1. Howard, I basically wouldn't fish Boulder Creek except for in the winter because of what you just mentioned. Too many crazy people and their four legged critters...

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  4. Lovely shots David! Thanks for sharing some winter beauty from the Smokies!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Mark. The Smokies are a great place to be in winter!

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  5. Your streams are so beautiful. I would be happy to just hike along those streams and take in all of the scenic beauty without even wetting a line. The colors on those fish are fantastic!

    I love streamer fishing for warm water species. I haven't tried it for trout, yet. All of my trout caught in the Driftless area of Wisconsin have been caught on hoppers and nymphs. Hoping to change that this coming weekend.

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    Replies
    1. Streamer fishing is just about my favorite method if I think there is any chance of catching fish that way. Tough to beat it for sure!

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  6. Love Brookies! Similar to Justin Carf, I love streamer fishing, but have more luck on nymphs and dries for Brookies.

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  7. nice photos, I love go out at this time, take some pics like that!

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  8. Amazing Pictures, wonderful place for family fishing tour.
    I have to go there

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  9. I just love that photo of the month. What fish is that? The rainbow colors of that fish body is nice. Nice fishing photography indeed.

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