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

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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