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 26, 2006

Winter Finally Arrives

Seasonally normal temperatures have finally made at least a brief visit to the great state of Tennessee. With a dark sky that produced precipitation alternating between a fine drizzle and snow flakes, I gave thought to the large fish that sometimes come out to feed under such conditions. Of course, this called for a trip to the Caney Fork for the afternoon so after a large breakfast, I was soon rolling west down I-40. Upon arriving riverside, I saw that feeding fish were periodically working a short stretch upstream aways. I rigged up with hands that were numb before I even started tying on a fly and wondered about my intelligence. The fish were still feeding though so I was soon knee deep in the Caney. After missing several fish I finally had a small rainbow on. However, I struggled to get any more action and finally decided a change of scenery was in order. After a short run farther upstream, I started fishing a much more familiar section and soon had another fish on. This turned out to be another standard stocker rainbow (at right). I continued up to where a I had missed a very large rainbow just days before. Working thoroughly, I finally found the fish or its nearest cousin only to actually lose my fly to it this time. Of course, this is completely unacceptable and I want you all to be assured that I will be back soon to find this fish and settle our differences once and for all. I'll also make sure and document said fish with a photograph. After breaking off, I seriously considered calling it a day but decided to fish a bit further downstream. I caught one or two more fish and finally called it a day. Right before I left, a guy from TWRA stopped to check my license. This definitely made my day! It was the first time I've ever been checked on this river so I'm glad to see some enforcement taking place. Anyway, I have a trip to the South Holston in the works so I may be gone for a few days. Check back soon though for pictures and stories from a stream that is new to me!

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