Even a couple of weeks worth of high water on my local tailwater can seem like an eternity. The last several weeks are starting to seem more like several years. The last time I was on the Caney was last November. Since then, the generation has been pretty consistent at over 10,000 cfs. That's a lot of water no matter which way you look at it. A few brave souls are still out in boats but most people have been trying other spots.
Now, Center Hill Lake is finally slipping below the magical 630 feet above sea level. Unfortunately, in the colder months this threshold has little meaning. Winter pool is much lower than that so while we might start to see TVA cut back on the generation a little, it is doubtful that there will be any wadeable windows any time soon. The active weather pattern looks like it will continue for the foreseeable future, so it is doubtful that the lake will drop very fast. In fact, don't be surprised if it spikes up again within the next week or two.
Thankfully, there are still fish that can be caught. In fact, when I stopped by the river to take a look a couple of weeks ago, there were fish rising in a very accessible spot. I doubt I'll be driving 45 minutes to fish a small section of bank, but I can take comfort in the fact that I could if I really wanted to.
The last few days have awakened the first stirring of spring fever somewhere inside. Visions of Blue Quills, Little Black Caddis, Quill Gordons, and of course rising trout, have been dancing around in my head in several spare moments. I find myself staring out the window. What I'm really seeing is not the dreary sky threatening more rain, but huge hatches with lots of rising trout. As inspiration grows, I'll be heading to the Smokies searching for fish willing to be force fed in the colder water now flowing. Some days will be phenomenal with lots of fish out feeding. Other days will be classic winter fishing with tight-lipped trout hugging the bottom, but thankfully those days will soon draw to a close as winter gives way to spring.
UPDATE: 10/6/2015 -- Smokies Fly Fishing Report: We are transitioning towards the beautiful fall colors. Rain last week helped tremendously with water levels, at least in the short term. Watch for large brown trout on the move as we approach the spawn. This is the time to find these fish out feeding as they fatten up for the spawn. Brook trout are sporting their best colors right now and the high elevation streams currently have the best fall colors if you want great scenery.
Caney Fork Fly Fishing Report: The Caney Fork is fishing well at times but only average during others. Look for cloudy/overcast days to be best at least for now. The high water streamer bite always gives a shot at some quality fish although nymphs and midges will catch the majority of your fish on low or falling water. Contact me about a float or wade trip if you want to get in on this great fishing at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com or call/text (931) 261-1884.
Cumberland Plateau Fishing Report: Smallmouth bass fishing is on its last legs for the year. We'll be breaking out the musky gear soon for the colder months. While temperatures hold steady, look for the bass to be on a feeding binge getting ready for colder weather. Get out now as this won't last long.
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