Trout Zone Anglers, LLC

Fishing Report January 31, 2016

The nice weather over the last few days has been perfect for outdoor activities. While you will normally find me out on the stream with a fly rod, lately I’ve been spending some time with the hiking boots as well. Here is a shot from a recent hike here on the beautiful Cumberland Plateau.

Upper Polly Branch Falls

“Upper Polly Branch Falls” © 2016 David Knapp Photography

As far as fishing goes, the musky rivers have settled down and warmed nicely and fish are active. The potential for heavy rain on Tuesday into Tuesday night this week will likely push flows back up above what most sane anglers like to chase the toothy critters.

Streams in the Smokies have been fishing well although not as well as you might think based on the weather and high temperatures each day. Snowmelt from the big snowstorm last week is still affecting most drainages in the Park. Water temperatures are mostly staying in the low 40s although today saw some temperatures spiking into the mid 40s in the lower elevations and the fish responded enthusiastically. Blue-winged olives and midges brought some fish up to the surface although most fish are being caught subsurface as is usual for this time of year. I got reports of some nice fish being caught today including some brown trout in the 15-16 inch range so things are looking good right now!

We have two more days of good fishing before the rain moves in by late Tuesday. After that, temperatures will plunge again and high water will make things tough for a few days. In the long term, I don’t see any suggestions that the spring hatches will start early, at least not before mid to late February. That could change though so stay tuned for more as it develops.