Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 10/17/2017

Fishing is excellent in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park now. We have had a couple of shots of rain the last week and a half which has helped keep the streams flowing strong for this time of year. The cool overnight temperatures will get the brown and brook trout seriously thinking about spawning. Please be careful this time of year and avoid walking on fine sand and gravel in riffles and tailouts. Leave the spawning trout alone so they can do their thing. When you find brook or brown trout that aren't spawning, they are aggressive and looking to feed. Recent guide trips on brook trout waters have been anywhere from good to excellent. Streams with rainbows and browns have been excellent as well. There are good numbers of fish to be caught in the Park right now!

A variety of bugs have been hatching lately. On cloudy days, Blue-winged Olives have hatched along with some other small mayflies. Various caddis, including the Great Autumn Brown Sedges (often referred to as October Caddis by locals) are hatching and provide a nice bite for the trout. Little Black stoneflies are hatching as well. Fish are eating both dry fly and nymph imitations and even still hitting some terrestrials. Don't forget your beetle, ant, and inchworm fly box. A Parachute Adams or Yellow or Orange Stimulator should work well for a dry fly. Smaller bead head Pheasant Tail nymphs should work as a dropper. Caddis pupa are also catching a lot of fish as are stonefly nymphs.

On the Caney Fork, things have been tough lately. The river has been running warmer than is normal this time of year because of heavy generation earlier this year and also with a stain due to the sluice gate operations. Work has been underway to install vented turbines on the generators and they have been working to try and tweak them to improve dissolved oxygen. One day, we were floating and they were checking the DO and found it at 1.5 ppm. If I remember correctly, the minimum target is 6 ppm. Obviously 1.5 is way too low. Trout were sitting along the banks and in back eddies gasping for oxygen. Hopefully all of this won't have too much of a long term effect on the fishery, but needless to say, things are a bit difficult as of right now. Cooler weather should help. Once the lake turns over, oxygen and clarity will improve quickly.

The Clinch River has been fishing well if you can hit it on low water days. Small nymphs and midges will get the job done here.

Smallmouth bass are about done for the year, but we will be back out on the musky streams again soon looking for the toothy critters. This is tough fishing, but the rewards can be sizable.

Photo of the Month: Night Time Hog

Photo of the Month: Night Time Hog

Monday, August 28, 2006

Exploring Small Streams

The longing for pristine wilderness and an untouched trout stream is probably common to many fly fisherman. I have hiked up and down mountains for miles in a day searching for the perfect stream. I read whatever fly fishing literature I can get my hands on in hopes of some subtle clue. Pouring over topo maps will scratch the itch to explore, but only enough to make it worse. A small stream in Southeast Tennessee has been begging me to try it out for awhile now. I have been in the vicinity several times and just hadn't stopped to fish it yet. This weekend I decided I was going to check it out. I arrived at the stream in the early afternoon and was very concerned at first. As I drove along the creek, the streambed was bone dry. However, it became apparent after I arrived at the trailhead that the stream must flow underground because I could hear water. Sure enough, the creek had enough water to keep the fish happy and healthy. So I grabbed my flyrod and started walking upstream. I had not gone very far before my curiosity got the best of me and I tied on a parachute Adams and started casting. The stream was really small so bow and arrow and roll casts were generally the method of operation. I worked upstream and began getting hits. The fish were really spooky and the water was pretty low so I had to go into stealth mode before I actually hooked up. After a couple of small fish, I started to think that maybe the fly was a bit too large so I tied on a small cream softhackle and it was just the ticket. The rainbows would hit it just about anywhere in the stream but I had to be paying very close attention to notice the takes. I was fishing the softhackle upstream and without any kind of weight so the takes were very subtle most of the time. While the day was overall a lot of fun, I probably won't be making trips just to fish this stream. I caught somewhere around 10 fish and worked for each one. The largest fish I saw all day was probably 8 inches and they were all rainbows. Exploring is hard to beat though and I don't consider my day on the water a waste. Someday, somewhere, I WILL find that water that gets fished by only a few people every year where the fish are practically begging me to catch them. However, until I find that stream, the challenge of finding it will keep me checking out these small streams. Eventually, I will find a hidden gem!

1 comment:

  1. Dave,

    Good to have stumbled across your blog. You can check mine out at amcnulty11.blogspot.com. It is good to hear the stories of your fishing experiences. Hopefully we can do a campting trip this fall. Hope all is well.

    your buddy,

    Aaron

    ReplyDelete

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