Mid Winter Smokies Fishing Report
Where did all the people go? The answer is simple, they’ve moved indoors. Is the fishing not good this time of year? Nothing could be farther from the truth. Fact is, the best time of year to catch a personal best trout is now!
Mention fishing this time of year, especially with the recent weather we have had, and folks think you are nuts! Then again, a thin line separates passion from insanity. Truth is, fishing during the Winter months is incredible! No other time of year can you head to a popular stream or lake and find you are the only one fishing today. Which brings us to the question, isn’t getting away from it all one of the reasons we go fishing in the first place?
One of the best kept Winter fishing secrets is big fish love cold weather, especially trout! The biggest trout of the year will undoubtedly be caught during the Winter months. Most trout spawn when the water temperatures here in the mountains start to dip below 48 degrees. This generally happens in November through mid December. During spawning season trout burn most of the calories and fat content they have packed on during the Fall. After the spawn, they need to eat at every opportunity to rejuvenate fat stores to carry them through cold Winter days ahead. Post spawn (this time of year), is your best best opportunity to catch a big trout.
The best trout fishing this week will be mid morning through the afternoon. Look for days with sunshine and areas of the stream that sunlight hits early. This will warm up the stream and start aquatic insects hatching that trout love to eat. Best fly patterns will be Little Black Caddis in #16-18, Black Caddis Pupae in #16-18, Little Winter Stonefly nymphs in #16-20, Little Winter Stonefly dries in #14-18, Blue Winged Olives in #18-22, egg patterns in #10-12, and black midges in #22-26. Streamers such as black and olive Woolly Buggers in sizes #6-8, and dark brown Sculpins in #6-8. Work your flies slowly through likely holding water and make sure to cover every inch of water. Even though the trout are hungry and will be actively feeding, they will not be traveling far to intercept your flies.
We’ll see you on the water!