Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 12/3/2019

Winter fishing is nearly upon us. Snow yesterday has given way to falling water temperatures in the Smokies. In general, fish will be hunkered down, although by tomorrow they should start to get more active again as temperatures warm. For the next three months, expect many more fish in the slower places in the Park. Think nymphs and maybe streamers but don't be surprised to find fish rising to blue-winged olives or midges on some days.

On tailwaters like the Clinch, brown trout and some fall spawn rainbows are doing their thing. This is a good time to review good ethics when it comes to spawning trout. Remember that these are the next generation of trout and the best thing you can do is to leave them alone. Avoid wading through spawning areas and don't fish for obvious spawners. For the foreseeable future, we should have high water thanks to big rains this last weekend. Fishing out of the drift boat will be very good through the winter with both nymphing and streamer fishing a distinct possibility. Want to swing for the fences and go for just one monster? Streamers will just get better and better going into January and February.

The Caney is slowly coming around. A few shad are coming through the dam, but lingering water quality problems are limiting the fishing. Winter streamer floats will produce shots at larger brown trout for anglers willing to work hard. Next spring should bring good fishing again.

Winter is our favorite time to get on the musky streams. In between bouts of high water, those will be fishing well for the next few months.

Photo of the Month: Big Fish Chuck Strikes Again

Photo of the Month: Big Fish Chuck Strikes Again

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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