Appalachian Angler

A page for fishing reports, guide ramblings, and angler folklore

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Strikes and Gutters

The TVA has been giving everyone a chance to do some wading and for the average angler it would seem as if all of the southeast is out trying to catch a spawner!!  There are in fact still some spawning fish and with the sections still being closed they are being protected, but you do have to ask yourself if there are this many people in mid-January, how many are going to be out in early April?!?  With that being said, it really is not that bad - you can still find lots of spots to fish in solitude, especially if you know how to read the generation schedule and catch some spots on falling water.  The biggest difference from day to day has been very weather dependent - before fronts move in has been very good fishing, and while the front is upon us it has been...well, picky....  You can definitely tell the fish will slow down during the barometric rise but with proper drifts you can still have shots at great fishing, it's just hard to pull it all together when you make 20 drifts and then you need to set the hook with ice clinging to the line, guides, rod, etc..

On Thursday it was lights out - decent weather with no ice, the ability to sight fish and falling water levels able to pound some nymphs in to nice slots and caught lots of rainbows?  Thursday was a rainbow day with only a few browns brought in - (there were chances for some nice browns on the end of the line).  We think it had something to do with the location we were fishing in the river - about smack in the middle of the 11 miles.  There seems to be a lot more activity/biomass in the upper river right now with all of the spawners making their beds up top.  Saturday was a little bit different story - while we were all troopers and trying not to let the arctic chill get to us - the fish had slowed down and were being very picky.  Spotted blue wings all through the weekend and there were times that the fish were eating on the surface (size 18-20 comparaduns, loopwings) but they would still pick off the midge dropper more readily than the mayfly dropper.  The scud bite continues down deep with a lot of the action coming when the scud is twitchy twitched.  Monday the powers that be had a 6 hour generation so we floated the wave and let it fall all around us - and once again blue wings were pouring off with some action intermittently throughout the day.  The best bite was still on streamers and hardware as the generators let loose a few days of backup.

Nice colors
Overall it was a strikes and gutters week - highs and lows like you wouldn't believe.  There were points Thursday that would make you weak the fishing was so primed - it was like a perfectly operating stove that has been pumped to the hilt just whistling with heat.  Then there were moments of cold and slow that would make you question exactly how many fish were in the run and why weren't they moving?  Followed quickly by the hottest rainbow you could have on 5x!!  Such is the nature of the sport we all love - there are dues to be paid to the mother Holston that we will never understand.

Nice change of pace.
No reports from the Watauga - coming later this week.  Small streams have been fishing if you can find the thawed out spots.  Long slow stretches in tail-outs with sandy bottoms have been producing down deep - best part being it is mostly sight-fishing.  We have confirmation that the Noli has been stocked but, unfortunately none of us have gone over to check it out - give us a call if you want to test the waters...
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