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Thread: Winter Stream Flooding

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    73

    Default Winter Stream Flooding

    I wonder how this past falls spawn trout survival will be affected by all the flooding in late winter?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Kingston, TN
    Posts
    284

    Default

    Generally speaking, these high-water events we've been having in December/January for the last couple of years do have a significant impact on recruitment of that year's spawn of browns and brookies. A high percentage of the young-of-the-year aren't big enough or strong enough yet to hold their own against the high flow rates, even if they can find a rock to hide under. So, in the next few years following winter flooding you'll generally see lower numbers of fish, but with less food pressure on the available resources, the surviving fish have an opportunity for more growth. The end result, at least for a while, is normally fewer but bigger fish in the streams.

    On the other hand, if we don't get a break in these annual flood events in the near future, I'm afraid we might see decreases in the breeding age adults as they age out, and that could have an additional impact on natural reproduction as well. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
    Last edited by Stana Claus; 02-15-2020 at 04:31 PM. Reason: grammar
    Fly fishing - it's cheaper than a bass boat!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Louisville, TN
    Posts
    615

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    The trout should be used to it by now, we've had an annual 500 year flood as far back as I recall. 1994 was insane

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Kodak, TN
    Posts
    183

    Default

    I remember that 1994 flood! Well sorta. I was having a kidney stone removed (twins actually) at UT hospital.

    Both of you have valid points. I will say that in my early days of fly-fishing (late 70's to early 80's) there seemed to be more trout than now. I remember looking into the deep pools, especially on Big Creek and Little River above Elkmont, and see dozens of trout feeding in the current. However, IMHO that quantity is more than offset by today's quality. Maybe my fish eyes get better with age, but I see fewer trout in those deep poos, but a LOT more trophy sized trout now.

    Also a note of interest, I started logging each trip in 1989. The flies I use have remained fairly constant, with a few additions. Using a 2 nymph rig, I will use a "tried and true" fly based on my records and will as a 2nd fly some of the newer patterns. I still catch the most on old patterns. Probably the best "newcomer" in the past 20 years has been the greenie weenie in the Summer.

    Jim Parks aka Grampus
    Tails of the Smokies

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Knoxville
    Posts
    338

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Grampus View Post
    I remember that 1994 flood! Well sorta. I was having a kidney stone removed (twins actually) at UT hospital.

    Both of you have valid points. I will say that in my early days of fly-fishing (late 70's to early 80's) there seemed to be more trout than now. I remember looking into the deep pools, especially on Big Creek and Little River above Elkmont, and see dozens of trout feeding in the current. However, IMHO that quantity is more than offset by today's quality. Maybe my fish eyes get better with age, but I see fewer trout in those deep poos, but a LOT more trophy sized trout now.

    Also a note of interest, I started logging each trip in 1989. The flies I use have remained fairly constant, with a few additions. Using a 2 nymph rig, I will use a "tried and true" fly based on my records and will as a 2nd fly some of the newer patterns. I still catch the most on old patterns. Probably the best "newcomer" in the past 20 years has been the greenie weenie in the Summer.

    Jim Parks aka Grampus
    Tails of the Smokies

    I too started fishing in the Park in the mid to late 70's as my family had a cabin in Elkmont. I am with you, the overall size of the fish IMHO are much better than back then as I remember. Either that or I am a better fisherman and that plays a part as well. But I agree, better quality.

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