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Thread: Tell me about winter fly fishing in the Smokies

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Knoxville, Tennessee
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    1,548

    Talking

    I'm embarrassed to know this, but if you scream like a little girl real loud they run like ****

    I guess some people's fear runs North and some run South. At least my clean up is easier

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Hillbilly Hollow, NC
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    I've seen bears every month of the year. Sows with cubs may be more prone to stay close to a den, but males will move around and feed during warm spells. It's my understanding that most of our bears don't go into the type of deep hibernation that their Northern cousins do. I'm not too scared of the average bear, an old sick bear or one that's habituated to people concerns me somewhat, but not enough to keep me out of the woods.


    As far as the fishing goes, it can be hit or miss. If you can catch a few days where water temps are on the rise you might catch a few fish. Look for a stream that gets the afternoon sun. Fish in the warmest part of the day. Make several drifts through a run, fish generally won't move very far or chase food like they will when the water is warmer. Be sure you are getting the fly down. If you aren't getting hug up every once in a while you aren't fishing deep enough. Carry a thermometer. If the water temp is less than 40 consider moving to another stream or a lower elevation.

    Fish close to the road, take extra cloths in case you fall in. Don't get too far from the vehicle. Fish areas that get some traffic. Car trouble or getting stuck could make for a long night.
    Last edited by flyman; 12-05-2013 at 11:24 PM. Reason: 42
    "Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it."
    Salvador Dali

  3. #23
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    Sep 2007
    Location
    maryville
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    I kind if like the negative outcome appeal that most everyone had posted on here....must be why the rivers are devoid of people in the winter. Trout are catchable regardless of how cold the water temps are. Not sure who started the under 40 theory...

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Crossville, TN
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 2weightfavorite View Post
    I kind if like the negative outcome appeal that most everyone had posted on here....must be why the rivers are devoid of people in the winter. Trout are catchable regardless of how cold the water temps are. Not sure who started the under 40 theory...
    If you type "trout's metabolism rate 40 degrees" or "trout's metabolism rate below 40 degrees" into Google, you will get a ton of hits on this topic including some good scientific data on metabolism, growth rates, and even feeding habits.

    Fish being "catchable" is a broad description of the conditions. Fish are always catchable. Of course, you may need to resort to dynamite under some circumstances... I've caught trout in water that looked like chocolate milk, so of course the fish were catchable, but I'm sure that most anglers didn't get as lucky as I did.

    I'm with you in that I love to fish in the winter, largely because there are fewer people, and yes, I have had some amazing days in the winter. However, both a trout's metabolism and aquatic insect activity is closely tied to water temperature. Fewer bugs moving around in the water means less feeding opportunities for trout. Cold water means they are more lethargic and less likely to move much for a snack. While excellent anglers such as yourself can catch a good number of fish on cold days, the average person who fishes the Park when the water is under 40 will catch few if any trout and then wonder what they are doing wrong. The fact is, they aren't necessarily doing anything wrong but unless you fish the streams on a regular basis and are intimately familiar with deep nymphing techniques, catching fish is going to be tough.

    That said, some of the largest fish caught in the Park have been caught in the cold months (January and February) when the water is under 40. So again, can you catch fish? Certainly. Can you even catch a lot of fish? Yep. Just don't expect it every trip.
    "Then He said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.'" Matthew 4:19

    Guided Fly Fishing with David Knapp
    The Trout Zone Blog
    contact: TroutZoneAnglers at gmail dot com

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Hillbilly Hollow, NC
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    You guys are right, you can catch fish all year when you can fish like you guys can. As I get older cold weather is harder and harder to tolerate, so is hot weather for that matter. I have caught fish when the air temp was in the teens and the water temps were in the mid to upper 30's. I am speaking in general terms, winter fishing can be a little less productive. Don't let what I said stop anyone from going. All I am saying is during the coldest days it can be a little more difficult than a mid May outing
    "Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it."
    Salvador Dali

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