Cumberland Troutfitters

fishing and river reports

january 19, 2019

winter storm headed our way this weekend. lake has finally been drawn down below summer pool, but expecting some more precipitation. ground is obviously saturated so runoff events are more impactful and lake level can come up quickly. safe bet to say that it is going to be awhile. great time to catch up on some flies and dream about warmer days and lower water. will be here before we know it! have been filling some late spring and summer dates so never too soon to think about it!

when we do get to fish again, here are a few helpful generalities to keep in mind. location and drift more important than fly selection! in bigger water don’t get caught fishing too far into the main channel. most fish will be concentrated near structure and along seams near the bank, particularly areas with rocky depth changes. any number of different beadhead nymphs will do just fine. most of the standard generic trout patterns will work at one time or another. seems that some days some flash in the nymph seems to help. just have to try a few and see what is best. there have been a couple of very large black flying ant hatches (#16) on the river lately, so make sure you don’g get caught without them! fish have been chasing a variety of streamers in higher water and on cloudy days, particularly white and chartreuse flavors. blue deceivers are also a great fly for big brown trout this time of year. also a great time of year to try some funky stuff, like purple leeches or halloween buggers. make sure to run a sink tip of some type. have to get some depth on the retrieve. best way is to throw a slack mend into the line after the cast and let sink for 3-4 seconds. usually faster retrieves are best once good depth is obtained.

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NEWS ETC.

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CAME ACROSS THIS INTERESTING TABLE FROM A RECENT ELECTROFISHING SURVEY CONDUCTED BY KDFWR. WHAT THEY CALL LONG BAR IS ACTUALLY WHAT GUIDES REFER TO AS SNOW ISLAND, SO THIS IS A SERIES OF 5 PASSES, EACH 15 MINUTES IN DURATION, FROM SNOW ISLAND TO ROCKHOUSE. OF COURSE, ELECTROFISHING IS FAR FROM AN EXACT SCIENCE, BUT THESE NUMBERS INDICATED THAT LARGE BROWN TROUT WERE NOT PLENTIFUL (OR NON-EXISTANT!) IN THIS SECTION OF THE RIVER, AND BROOK TROUT NOT DOING WELL. I WOULD HAVE AGREED WITH THIS ASSESSMENT ON AUGUST 22, BUT THESE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS I HAVE SEEN SOME REALLY NICE BROWNS TAKEN in and around THIS STRETCH, SO AM NOW OF THE BELIEF THAT THE LARGE BROWNS ARE AS ELUSIVE TO THE ELECTROFISHING ROD AS THEY ARE THE FLY ROD. OR COULD BE THEY JUST MOVED IN TO THIS AREA RECENTLY? ANYWAY, WORD ON THE STREET IS THAT KDFWR IS PLANNING ON RELEASING SOME LARGER BROWNS (~15”) INTO THE RIVER THIS FALL, WITH THE HOPES THEY WILL HOLD OVER THROUGH THE WINTER, GET FAT AND HAPPY, AND ENTER THE SPRING SEASON FULL OF PISS AND VINEGAR. SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD PLAN TO ME! I’VE CERTAINLY BOATED A GOOD NUMBER OF SLOT RAINBOWS THRU THIS STRETCH OVER THE SUMMER, SO NOT SURE WHY MORE OF THOSE BIG BOWS AREN’T SHOWING UP IN THE SURVEY, BUT MAYBE THEY ARE A BIT TOO WILY FOR THE SHOCKING BOAT TOO? I WOULD AGREE WITH THE DIRE BROOK TROUT SITUATION. THEY JUST DON’T SEEM TO SURVIVE WELL IN THE CUMBERLAND. HAVEN’T netted BUT A COUPLE DOZEN ALL SUMMER, WHEREAS SEVERAL YEARS AGO, NOT LONG AFTER THEY STARTED THE BROOK TROUT STOCKING PROGRAM, IT WASN’T UNCOMMON TO CATCH 15 OR 20 BROOKIES IN A DAY. I’M SURE IT IS A NUMBER OF PREDATION FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO THIS, CHIEF AMONG THEM STRIPERS FROM BELOW AND HERONS FROM ABOVE. NOT SURE IF THERE IS A LONG TERM SOLUTION TO MAKING BROOK TROUT POPULATIONS VIABLE IN THE RIVER BUT I WOULD LIKE TO SEE IT HAPPEN. HAVE ALWAYS DREAMED OF CATCHING A 5#+ BROOKIE!! WOULD MUCH RATHER DO THAT THAN CATCH A 30# STRIPER WITH two dozen little brook trout in his belly!