Winter trout fishing adventure
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Thread: Winter trout fishing adventure

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    Boone
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    Default Winter trout fishing adventure

    39 degrees and light rain seemed like the perfect recipe for a winter river fishing adventure. I loaded up the kayak and sent my buddy a text. He couldn't make it so this trip would be solo. The parking lot was empty and the water gin clear. I started throwing a black rooster tail but the trout were very wary. I decided a more natural presentation was called for. Began fishing a small tube and it was game on! After landing five trout i lost the tube to a tree so I tied on a crappie magnet . Finished out my limit with daylight to spare!Enjoyed the solitude and float back to the truck. Awesome afternoon on the river!
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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Knoxville
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    39 degrees and light rain seems like a recipe to get the river to yourself and the fish!

  4. #3
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    I have a question. How cold was the water? Does your boat have a thermometer on it?

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  6. #4
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    Jan 2018
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    Boone
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    I carry a thermometer in my fishing bag but on this trip I discovered that it was broken. My best guess is that the water temp was low to mid 40's. We've had very little river ice this winter and a fair amount of rain.
    Troutgirl likes this.


  7. #5
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    May 2010
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    That sounds like the water has finally gotten cold enough for the Rainbows to spawn. They like 42-44 degrees. I'm trying to guage when lake Rainbows will return to the lakes where I pursue them.

  8. #6
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    Feb 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troutgirl View Post
    That sounds like the water has finally gotten cold enough for the Rainbows to spawn. They like 42-44 degrees. I'm trying to guage when lake Rainbows will return to the lakes where I pursue them.
    I caught two spawned out rainbows Sunday in the main portion of Santeetlah, had one dropping eggs all over my kayak on Cheoah yesterday.
    Troutgirl likes this.


  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hexagenia View Post
    I caught two spawned out rainbows Sunday in the main portion of Santeetlah, had one dropping eggs all over my kayak on Cheoah yesterday.
    Where do Rainbows spawn in Cheoah? I'm figuring only so many can fit in little Twenty Mile Creek....and the creek level has to be up. Do you think they find places in the upper end?

    If February turns out as warm as January, I'm gonna be inclined to un-winterize my boat and start hitting Santeetlah, Chilhowee, and maybe Cheoah or Calderwood relatively soon. Maybe all the high altitude snow the past few weeks finally got the streams cold enough for the Rainbows to mostly finish up Spawn-a-palooza....? …..especially at the higher lakes. Chilhowee might be an exception it's so low and they can't get past the big waterfall on Abrams Creek.

  10. #8
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    Feb 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troutgirl View Post

    Where do Rainbows spawn in Cheoah? I'm figuring only so many can fit in little Twenty Mile Creek....and the creek level has to be up. Do you think they find places in the upper end?
    That's a good question. I always assumed they spawned with very limited success right below the Fontana Dam. The rainbow that was leaking eggs was caught at the mouth of the creek directly upstream of the boat landing...the one that runs right past the parking area.
    Troutgirl likes this.


  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hexagenia View Post
    That's a good question. I always assumed they spawned with very limited success right below the Fontana Dam. The rainbow that was leaking eggs was caught at the mouth of the creek directly upstream of the boat landing...the one that runs right past the parking area.
    In my memory, I think that creek is too small for much spawning. Other than Twenty Mile Creek, I don't remember any creeks of any size flowing into Cheoah. I remember a very small creek on the left, going downstream, with a sandbar in front of it's mouth. That might be a spawning spot? I suspect that much of the spawning in Cheoah is in less than appropriate areas and the eggs end up being devoured by hungry Trout...???

    Up at Santeetlah, I'm confident that there's a lot of successful spawning. I occasionally catch a Rainbow there that has several extra vertebrae like the Steelhead strain that got stocked 40-50 years ago. Watch for Rainbows that seem a bit elongated. I believe those Steelhead genes are still, literally, floating around.

    There's very successful Brown spawning in Calderwood. I have a friend who's watched 'em spawn in Slickrock Creek at the pool below the first waterfall. I know Browns have occasionally been stocked there but that wasn't the case when I caught my first Brown there back in the 1970's. Some of the Brown genes in Calderwood must go all the way back to 1936 when the Civilian Conservation Corp stocked Slickrock Creek as part of their rehabilitation effort after the watershed was ravaged by lumber extraction.

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