View Full Version : ? fish in Jan. ?

11-27-2006, 07:58 AM
I will in Townsend Jan26-28 of 07....any chance there will be an opportunity to catch fish that late? Coming in to LRO for the fly tying class and would love to get back into the river......


Hugh Hartsell
11-27-2006, 10:23 AM
*:) Good morning buckeyetrouter. It's good that you are going to take the tying class and hopefully you will catch enough decent weather to fish some. I wanted to reply to your question since I know that flyfishing in the winter time is still a new sport to many of the fellas on this board and I'll also say that there are some who have already incorporated this sport into a wintertime activity and they may have things they want to add as well. First and foremost is safety: don't get out there on the stream if there is ice in every little side pocket or where water has splattered onto the rocks and frozen. That's a death wish waiting to happen! Check for water temperatures and try to find the warmest ones that you can. This usually translates into lower altitudes and spots where the sun can hit the water for awhile. Good examples are the lower sections of the West prong of Little River and the Middle Prong as well. The short two mile section of the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River just outside of Gatlinburg--going up to the Park Headquarters is good as well at this time of the year. Many already know about the Spring Creek section of Anthony Creek, just before it makes it's confluence with Mill Creek. It traditionally has water temps about 2-3 degrees warmer than the other mountain streams in the area because it runs underground for several miles.
* Then we get into the fishing methods: Everyone knows that you will need to use heavily weighted nymphs at this time of the year and *they need to get down to the bottom pretty quickly. High stickin is the preferred manner to fish them to slow the flies down and bump the bottom. A few more drifts than normal might be another option as well.
*Now comes the new kicker! Czech Nymphing has become a household term on Flyfishing Boards and this is the time of the year that practicing this method can produce well. The water levels are pretty high and using these flies(no more than two), and proven techniques can work well. Deeper holes that have strong runs coming into them which block the fish's vision somewhat will allow getting closer to the better fish holding area and drifting flies down deep and slow in the manner that they are used in Europe where these techniques were developed. You can fish the lower and mid sections of a deep run in the traditional tandem fishing method and move toward the upper parts of the run and do the short Czech style of leading the nymphs thru the sides of a faster white water run. Some of my friends and myself tried these methods early in the year and for the first several months of the season, until the water came down to a normal level and they worked very well.
* Some will still want to use the traditional dropper from a strike indicator and that will work, but it will need to support some weight and try to bring it thru a run as slow as you can. Just remember, that at somewhere around 40 degrees, the fish really slow down in their feeding to almost nothing. It will probably be best under these types of conditions to try to find a tailwater to get in a decent day of fishing at this time of the year. I hope these thoughts help some and I hope we have some people giving good wintertime reports thru the colder months ahead.
* Good fishing to you all.
* *Hugh Hartsell---East Tn.

11-27-2006, 10:40 AM
Hey Buckeyetrouter-

Looks like i am going to be taking the same beginners fly tying class. We could always fish the Clinch River on Sunday. I have not fished it in the Winter but I have heard that it is good all winter.

11-27-2006, 10:52 AM
Winter fishing is terrible. Stay away. The water is cold and the fish are hibernating! Just kidding. There is still fishing in winter but please follow Hugh's suggestions. Safety first because we don't want to lose anyone in this wonderful sport. Suggest the nymphing along with Hugh but don't discount the occasional weighted smaller streamers either. Winter is the only time of year I used studded boots. Be extremely careful if you are using felt bottoms. They will wick moisture and freeze quickly.

11-27-2006, 09:16 PM
I think I might be taking that fly tying class as well, guess I better hurry and sign up!!! I've never fly fished the clinch in the winter, but I used to cast salmon eggs in the dead of january and did just about as well as in the warmer months. I think the water temp stays the same year round due to it coming out of the bottom of the dam. My thing is that I don't really like being out in the cold weather! but this year I think I'm going to bundle up and hit some tailwater. I'd hate to fall in.

11-27-2006, 09:46 PM
Hugh.....thanks for the information, that will be extremely helpful and I will follow your safety suggestions as well

ttas......Griff is also taking the Jan27 class, it will be good to meet you guys. He suggests the possiblity of trying the Clinch. All I've ever tried down there is inside the park. I've never tried a non-redident permit for any of the other waters, we'll have to see what time permits as I will have a 6.5hr drive to reach home Sunday evening.

Griff.......gotta try to get a few more of the guys from this board into the class. Hopefully there will be some fishing opps so I can learn some of the techniques you guys use down there......


11-28-2006, 01:31 AM
gotta have a trout stamp as well! I fish the clinch occasionally. there's an amazing sulpher hatch pretty much all summer. except I heard it really didn't happen much this year. there are also some monster fish in there, I've talked to alot of fly fishermen around here who don't even fish the park and fish the clinch exclusively. the clinch has really easy access, and while it's not the park, it is really pretty and super foggy in the morning. close to the river is the museum of appalachia. if you've never been there, I cannot stress enough that you really should take a half day and check out that place. you could easily spend a whole day looking at everything.

11-28-2006, 06:02 PM
The good thing about winter fishing is that you have the stream to yourself.The bad thing about winter fishing is that if you run into trouble you will be by yourself.I would strongly suggest taking someone with you.I have had better luck with black stonefly nymphs and fish them as deep and slow as you can.If you do not catch anything it is still better then being at work.Have a nice time and like the others have said,think saftey first.