Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 10/17/2018

Fishing continues to be good to excellent in the Great Smoky Mountains of east Tennessee. Delayed harvest streams are also being stocked and fishing well in east Tennessee and western North Carolina.

In the Smokies, fall bugs are in full swing. We have been seeing blue-winged olives almost daily although they will hatch best on foul weather days. They are small, typically running anywhere from #20-#24 although a few larger ones have also shown up. A few Yellow Quills are still hanging on in the mid to high elevation brook trout water although not for long. October caddis (more properly, great autumn sedges) are hatching in good numbers now on the North Carolina side of the Park and just starting on the Tennessee side. Terrestrials still have a place in your fly box as well although they are definitely winding down for the year. Isonychia nymphs, caddis pupa, and BWO nymphs will get it done for your subsurface fishing. Have some October Caddis (#12) and parachute BWO patterns (#18-#22) for dry flies and you should be set. Brook trout are still eating smaller yellow dry flies as well. Not interested in matching the hatch? Then fish a Pheasant Tail nymph under a #14 Parachute Adams. That rig can catch fish year round in the Smokies.

Brook and brown trout are now moving into the open to spawn. During this time of year, please be extremely cautious about wading through gravel riffles and the tailouts of pools. If you step on the redd (nest), you will crush the eggs that comprise the next generation of fish. Please avoid fishing to actively spawning fish and let them do their thing in peace.

Our tailwaters are still cranking although the Caney is finally starting to come down. I'm hoping to get some type of a report for there soon. Stay tuned for more on that. Fishing will still be slow overall with limited numbers of fish in that particular river unfortunately.

The Clinch is featuring high water as they try to catch up on the fall draw down. All of the recent rainfall set them back in this process but flows are now going up to try and make up some of the time lost. It is still fishing reasonably well on high water although we are holding off for the low water of late fall and early winter as it is one of our favorite times to be on the river.

Smallmouth are about done for the year with the cooler weather we are now experiencing. Our thoughts will be turning to musky soon, however. Once we are done with guide trips for the year, we'll be spending more time chasing these monsters.

In the meantime, we still have a few open dates in November and one or two in October. Feel free to get in touch with me if you are interested in a guided trip. Thanks!

Photo of the Month: Fishing in Paradise

Photo of the Month: Fishing in Paradise

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Smokies Rock!

I returned last afternoon from an epic weekend of fishing in the Smokies. I skipped my last class on Friday afternoon to make it up to Elkmont with plenty of time for some evening fishing. I set up camp and drove back down Little River and started fishing a hole that has always been kind to me. I caught caught a couple rainbows that were decent. I then cast to the other side of the main current, threw a quick mend to set up my drift and the rod almost got jerked out of my hands. I soon had a gorgeous 13 inch brown to hand that I quickly admired and then slipped back into the waters that he called home. "That was the high point of my weekend" I thought, which was too bad since I had only just arrived. I fished on upstream and finished with around 15 trout caught for an hour and a half of fishing. I started suspecting that since I did not have a camera, the whole weekend would be amazing as far numbers and maybe even size. Little did I know what the next day would bring!

Saturday I woke up and decided to try some new water. I drove over to Greenbriar and parked at the Ramsey Cascades Trailhead. I started fishing upstream from the bridge at the trailhead and fished between a mile and a mile and a half of water. It seemed I could do no wrong. I caught 40+ fish, mostly on a beadhead Tellico nymph but several also came on dry flies. I caught probably half rainbows and brookies with lots of nice sized fish mixed in. I had several rainbows in the 9-11 inch range and a couple of 8-9 inch brookies. I finally decided I was done battling the stream, which was probably the most difficult to traverse that I have ever personally fished. There were tons of huge boulders blocking upstream progress and several times I almost thought I would have to go back all the way downstream to the bridge to get out.

After returning to my car, I headed back over to Little River. Maybe, just maybe I would catch another nice brown. I started fishing a Tellico deep through I large hole when my line just stopped. I quickly set the hook on what I was hoping wasn't a snag. Sure enough, I felt a good-sized head shaking and soon had a 16 inch brown just long enough to slip out the fly. Shaking with excitement, I moved lower down in the pool and caught a small rainbow before moving back up to the head of the pool. I tried the same spot and had the same result, except this time when I set the hook, I didn't feel anything moving. "Oh no, here we go" I thought. I jerked again hoping to set the fly free when something started moving. "There is no way" I mused, but the fish seemed very real as it started surging toward an overhanging ledge underwater. I stressed the 4x tippet as much as I dared and eventually worked up another good brown, this one going 18 inches!!! I originally thought it was 17 inches as I measured it against my rod. I used to have marks on my rod so I could quickly measure a fish but they have worn off. After measuring my rod again, I realized that I caught my first 18 inch brown this weekend!!!

I think the solution to catching big fish must really be to go without a camera. It worked great for me this weekend, and I think it might be foolproof. I will have to test my theory by always taking a camera from now on and seeing if I ever catch good fish again. I will be back soon to fish the fall hatches. This is my favorite time of year and I will be on my home waters as much as my classes allow me to!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Fall



Fall may be my favorite time of the year to fish, perhaps in part because I catch so many fish then, or maybe because the weather is cooler. Regardless of the exact reason, fall is a special time of year when I roam the streams in search of trophy fish.

Sometime, hopefully soon, I will find that one large fish in the Smokies that is willing to eat my fly. Having often spotted but never hooked the large browns that prowl Little River, I have never experienced the rush of adrenaline from hooking one of those monsters. This summer I hooked my second legitimate 20 inch plus brown, but not on my home waters. So now, as the weather cools, I am preparing to once again attempt a shot at the large fish in the Smokies. Maybe this will be the year I hook my first large brown. If not, I will still enjoy fishing my favorite water at my favorite time!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Too busy to fish?

As a student in college, I often find myself making very difficult decisions. One of the really tough ones is going fishing. Now, I love fishing and would fish 24/7 if I did not have responsibilities. However, fishing causes all kinds of problems with accomplishing the supposedly more important things such as homework. For example, last weekend I was home for the weekend and decided to fish the Caney on Sunday. I arrived at the river and began battling the crowds, picking up a fish here and there. I moved up by the dam and finally started slaying them. It was definitely almost too easy, but I was having a blast. When I finally looked at my watch, I discovered to my dismay that I had fished much longer than I intended. Oh well, who needs to do homework. Unfortunately, I spent the whole week trying to play catch-up. I decided that this weekend would not contain any fishing so that I could focus on "important" things. Oddly enough, I probably have spent enough time sitting around wishing I was fishing, or at least wishing I didn't have any homework, that I could have gone fishing for a few hours. Now, I have to wait until next weekend before I will have sufficient time to pursue trout again, but when I do, I will fish with a vengeance because I have to catch enough fish to make up for not fishing this weekend. Or not...just getting out on the water should be reward enough for a week of studying! Now where to fish next weekend.......decisions, decisions.....

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