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

Monday, November 26, 2018

The Falls of the Yellowstone

There isn't much to say for these pictures as they speak for themselves. These are the next pictures in order from my Yellowstone trip. Part of the reason for that is because we woke up that morning on the chilly side. Heading over to Canyon for breakfast seemed like a good idea so that is what we did. While there, I decided it was time for Leah to see the incredible Lower Falls of the Yellowstone at the head of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. We saw the Upper Falls as well, but most of our time was spent enjoying the Lower Falls. In fact, we enjoyed seeing it so much that we came back at least two other times. For good measure, there are also a few random shots from scenery on a smaller scale taken near the falls. Finally, there is a quick shot of Gibbon Falls as we drove by later in the day...

Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone







Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

How things have changed since the last fishing report. First of all, Happy Thanksgiving and thank you for stopping by! Today I am thankful for another great year of guiding and feel tremendously blessed to be able to get paid to be out on the water every day. Thank you for helping to make that possible.

Since the last report, the Smokies have seen unusually high water for this time of year. In fact, the water got high enough that it messed up this year's brown and brook trout spawn. Hopefully we don't get any more big rain events for the next two to three months as at least a few fish still have to spawn. The water was high enough to potentially destroy nests that were made prior to the high water event.

Overall fishing in the Smokies is okay but not great. This time of year is always tough with fish moving into winter mode. The fall blue-winged olives hatched well earlier this month and while a few of them are still trickling off, the best of this hatch seems to be over. A few caddis are also still around, but in general food will be sparse for the trout in the mountains for the next few months. That means its time to start thinking about the early spring hatches

Late February usually kicks things off with blue quills. These are followed quickly by quill gordons and little black caddis in early March. From there, things build towards the annual crescendo which can be anywhere from late April to mid May in most years. This is the time when the most variety and quantity of bugs overlaps for fantastic fishing throughout the Great Smoky Mountains. As an aside, guided trip dates book early for this time of year so make sure and get on the guide calendar early if you want to do a trip during the hatches. 

The next few months will be a much need break from constantly running for me. I love my job but a breather is always good. I'll even be squeezing in a few extra fishing trips for me during the next few months as I love winter fishing in the mountains and on our tailwaters and musky streams. Stay tuned for more here on the blog as I have a lot of Yellowstone adventures to still get caught up on posting as well. Thanks again for reading!

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Yellowstone Scenic Day

While fishing was certainly an important part of my Yellowstone trip, it was not the main purpose of the trip. My lovely wife Leah had never been to Yellowstone so a thorough tour of the Park was in order. After getting camp set up and catching a few cutthroat trout, we decided to check out some of the geothermal scenery that Yellowstone is famous for.

Our chosen campground for the duration of our stay in Yellowstone was at Norris. This campground is located in a good place to fish in several directions while not spending as much as some of the large campgrounds that offer reservations. These larger campgrounds are now charging $35 a night or more which is ridiculous for a tent pad and picnic table. Norris Campground offers camping for $20 a night and still also features nice bathrooms with running water, dishwashing stations and other basic amenities. Not far from the campground is Norris Geyser Basin. With plenty of daylight left after catching some trout, we decided to check out the hot springs, geysers, and other geothermal features of Norris.

The following are a few pictures from our boardwalk tour.










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