Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 04/16/2019

Wow! So many changes since the last report. First, the streams in the Smokies are mostly in good shape except after rain events. Water has been a bit on the high side in some drainages but overall conditions are very good. Our early hatches are giving way to lighter colored bugs now. Light Cahills, Pale Evening Duns, Blue-winged Olives, March Browns, and Hendricksons have all been on the water at times. The huge Black Stoneflies are around now as well and providing some big bites for hungry trout. Sulfurs should be starting fairly soon, especially with all of the nice weather we are having. Little Yellow Stoneflies are just starting to show up now as well and will get much stronger as May approaches. The yearly pinnacle of spring dry fly fishing is quickly approaching!

Tailwaters are starting to fish well. The Caney Fork is still blowing a LOT of water. That should change fairly soon if we don't get too much rain. I'm thinking we might start seeing some opportunities in early May if things hold steady, maybe sooner. The Clinch has been fishing extremely well. Big hard fighting rainbow and brown trout are the target here on light tippets and tiny flies. Bring your A game or go home disappointed. Sulfurs should start to really take off shortly along with more caddis than we have already been seeing.

Warm water options are really taking off as well. That is assuming that flows cooperate. Big rain events will shut this down for a few days, but otherwise, everything is fishing very well right now!

Photo of the Month: Early Spring Rewards

Photo of the Month: Early Spring Rewards

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Smelling Beetles

Some guide trips are routine, while others are definitely a little out of the ordinary. This past Monday, I had a half day guided wade trip on the Caney Fork River. We had moved around trying to stay ahead of the generation that has been a challenge lately.

We found several willing fish on midges and nymphs (mostly midges) early in the day as well as a few that ate the hopper but didn't find the hook. When the water started rising, it was time to move and move we did. We found another good section with more favorable water conditions and started fishing again, knowing that we had limited time before the rising water found us. I had mentioned wanting to try a certain section and Terry who was fishing with me was all for it. Moving down the river, we were approaching our target spot when I froze.

My nose detected the definite smell of Japanese beetle. I know this sounds unbelievable, but the pungent and unmistakeable smell of beetles made me look up. Sure enough, the tree that was hanging out over the river nearby had lots of beetles eating away on the leaves. Knowing at least a little about such things, I quickly deduced that instead of a midge behind the hopper, it was time for my favorite, a black beetle.

Terry was soon maneuvering into position and made a great cast to a brown trout I had spotted. Immediately the fish nailed the fly. This scene replayed itself again and again over the next hour.  Most of the fish were brown trout, but at least one or two were rainbows.

Terry Butrum with a quality Caney Fork brown trout

Catching fish on dry flies on the Caney Fork River is always a treat and this day was no different. Before long, we had to make a beeline for the bank because the water was catching up, but we had already caught several fine trout. Next time you are out on the river during the summer, make sure to stop and smell for beetles. You might just luck into some great fishing!


12 comments:

  1. Those "controlled" rivers can be tricky. Locally the Mokelumne is like that. One minute you're on dry land, next minute you're knee deep.

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    1. Mark, you definitely have to be very careful. Usually the schedule for our rivers is accurate but every once in a while they surprise you. Definitely a good place to be aware of your surroundings. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Dave, beautiful brown
    Tailwaters, a big plus.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! The tailwaters around here make fishing in the hot months manageable and especially keep the trout happy.

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  3. Can't say that I've ever smelled beetles. You must have a superhuman nose - haha! Great job

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Mark! I was pretty amazed myself and doubt I will ever duplicate that one haha.

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  4. Earlier this year the gypsy mouths were so thick here you could smell them. Like beetles, their adults can also make for some fun dry fly fishing!

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    Replies
    1. David
      Glad you guys had success, beautiful brown, finally made it to our daughters late today. We are now here for good. Hope to make it to the Caney soon. thanks for sharing

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    2. Now that would be something to see RM Lytle. I have not ever fished a Gypsy Moth "hatch" but it sounds like it must be a lot of fun!

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    3. Bill, holler at me sometime if you would like some company on the water!

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  5. Dry fly fishing is always tons of fun. Nice Brown.

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