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

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Another Day Fishing

The Caney Fork had a nice generation schedule on Monday so I went down for the afternoon. Fishing two days in a row is great but your casting arm can get kinda tired, what a rough life... Anyway, I got down to the river and drove around a little while looking over some different spots on the upper river. I finally figured out where I wanted to fish and got down to the water. I was hoping the fish would be feeding heavily but there was only sporadic activity on the surface. Probably the bright sun wasn't helping in that department. Anyway, I tied on my usual dry with a midge dropper and started exploring. The fish were not as easy to find as they are sometimes but I finally got into a few. As the afternoon wore on, the fish became a little more active and I started moving up river towards the area with the best activity. I spotted a very large fish rising upstream and slowly worked into position. By the time I was in the right spot, the fish was not longer rising so I had to guess where I thought he might be. The second cast was apparently right on the money as my dry sucked under and the battle was on. Unfortunately, the fish had somewhere else to be apparently and took off downriver like a freight train. Scared that my 6x would pop at any moment, I felt the sudden surge of the fish towards the surface. Mouth gaping, I stared in awe as my tiny midge popped out of the jaw of a very heavy rainbow and then stood grumbling to myself. Finally I realized that nothing would bring that fish back and I started moving upriver again. Because of the aforementioned sore arm, I worked a bit on casting with my left hand, probably something I should spend a considerable amount of time practicing. A few more average 12 inch footballs were gracious enough to put in an appearance but nothing could top the fish I had momentarily connected with. Late in the day I went up to just below the dam and caught a couple more before heading home. It was an amazing day to be on the water in December with the temperature in the mid to upper 60's so really I can't complain too much although I really wish I could have landed that fish. At least I know where it lives and I'll be back soon and with a net next time.

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