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, November 27, 2006

Regaining Confidence

After a fairly slow day in the mountains on Friday, I was looking to catch a bunch of fish. I noticed that the generators would finally be off on the Caney Fork and decided to head down Sunday morning. Being a bit lazy, I didn’t get to the river until around 9:30. There were plenty of fish working and some midges hatching so I tied on my trusty zebra midge and started to catch fish right away. I never had to try another fly the whole time. There were some good sized browns working that I watched for awhile but they never ate what I was throwing. My catch consisted of about 50/50 ‘bows and browns which was nice since I normally catch more ‘bows. The best fish of the day was a nice brown right around 16 inches. Anyway, enough talking and on to some more pictures…

Friday, November 24, 2006

Cold Water

One of the crucial elements of a good trout stream is cold water and lots of it. Unfortunately, you can have too much of a good thing. I was fortunate enough to fish in the Smokies today for the first time in awhile. The weather was perfect but the water was frigid. The water temperature was in the low 40's which is borderline for making the fish lethargic. It didn't take too long to decide that I would be drowning nymphs today and accordingly I started trying various flies, a George Nymph, PTs, a Copper John, a GRHE, and finally went back to the old standby, a Tellico. Almost immediately I had a hit and finally landed a whopper, four inches long. Over the next few hours, I landed 5 more fish of which the two largest were around 9 inches. Considering the conditions, it was not all that bad. The water was still up higher than I like and all the fish were hunkered down deep. There were decent numbers of midges, small caddis and BWOs hatching in the afternoon but I only saw one fish rise the whole day. Best of all, it was a beautiful day out so I really can't ask for more! The weather is supposed to stay beautiful for the next several days and I might sneak away one day next week so check back for updates soon...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Dreams of Summer

As a college student, I am fairly busy from late August until early May. I still fish an inordinately large amount of time but not as much as I would like. When summer rolls around, I normally have to find work to make money for another year of school. However, I can usually squeeze in a trip or two to somewhere out of the ordinary. A couple of summer ago I was fortunate enough to spend time in Yellowstone and the Black Hills. This past summer I landed a job in Colorado that let me fish Blue Ribbon trout streams every weekend. With visions of giant trout rising lazily to inhale any fly I offer, the trip planning commences once again. As anyone that has been there can testify, Yellowstone is beckoning me to its world famous waters. If at all possible I have to return to the Black Hills as well. This will be the third time if I make it. Colorado was great and I would love to explore a little more thoroughly, particularly in the San Juan Mountains. I have some tips on a high country lake that produces lots of 20 inch plus rainbows and willingly at that. The only downside is the 17 mile hike it will take. I have never fished in Montana so that is another place on the list to visit sometime. Even Arizona holds a special place in my heart and I could spend weeks there. I could go on and on about waters I have fished or heard amazing things about but that isn't getting me any closer to the elusive trout that live in them. The cold days I spend on the water in the coming months will be warmed by my dreams of summer. During the days I can't fish, it is time to start tying flies and making concrete plans for the now annual pilgrimage west in my quest for that perfect day on the water.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

SE Tennessee Small Streamin'



I could not stay in any longer. The temps were reaching well into the 60’s and even 70’s the last several days and I knew the fishing would probably be on fire. A small wild stream came to mind that had been a goal to fish for awhile. I did not know what to expect from this stream but had a good idea what it might be like.
The fall colors were excellent but the drive still seemed a little long. After driving for what seemed like an eternity, I finally came upon the creek. It was a small tumbling mountain stream with plenty of nice small pools. After finding a good place to park, I walked back downstream and began fishing. A small parachute Adams seemed like a good way to start and I soon had the first monster on, all two inches of fighting rainbow.
I had several more hits from very small fish so I decided to go subsurface. When in doubt, I find myself tying on a Tellico more and more and that is exactly what I chose. I immediately had a 6 inch rainbow on and things were looking a bit better. I worked through a couple very nice holes and caught a few more.
My best fish came after seeing the fish follow the fly before fading back into his hole. I stealthily worked my way much closer to the deep pocket I saw the fish go back into and lobbed the bead head back in and let it sink straight down. The line twitched and I set the hook, energizing this nice little rainbow to make several jumps before being brought to hand.

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