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

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Fishing in the Cold or Wind?

It seems that El Nino is causing problems not only here in the states but also overseas. As meteorologists are trying to determine a connection between tornadoes in Florida during El Nino, the winds are blowing fiercely in the fly fishing Mecca known as New Zealand. According to this interesting story from the New Zealand Herald, the country is

"cursed by El Nino and its accompanying winds, which until this week had delayed the good summer fishing by two months in the popular Rotorua and Taupo fisheries."

I am trying to find it in my heart to feel sorry for those that are basking in the warmth of summer. However, the continual blasts of arctic air make this extremely difficult for me. This of course brings us to the question of whether it is better to fish in the cold or in the wind? How bad is the wind you ask? Well, if someone will send me a plane ticket to New Zealand I will be glad to find out.

I have to say, I have fished in some nasty wind before but have never been stopped from fishing. This doesn't mean that the fish were biting but I was going through the motions. I recall a time when was fishing a lake in the White Mountains of Arizona where the technique of the day was basically to execute a roll cast good enough to get the line off of the water. The wind would do the rest. If you could manage to actually make a full cast, the line MIGHT end up 10 feet behind you on the backcast and this translated to a good 60 foot cast, all assuming of course that you didn't invent a new windknot. Oh yeah, I caught a nice fat 17 inch Cutthroat that day.

Of course, I've enjoyed some excellent days fishing in the cold as well. Last year I got to fish in the snow for the first time. Being from Tennessee, this was actually a novelty. I guess I can feel a bit of sympathy for the folks in New Zealand. Two months is a LONG time to go without wetting a line. At least I can fish when its cold...and it must be REALLY windy to prevent fishing... Seriously, anyone want to send me a plane ticket to New Zealand? Patagonia? Somewhere warm???

3 comments:

  1. hawgdaddy8:02 AM

    Last year in Yellowstone we were fishing the Blacktail Deer Pond. The wind was blowing so hard that the roll cast was the only option, just like you mention. My 4-weight wouldn't even get a back cast behind me at all, not that I'm the best caster. I wish I had taken my 6-weight that day.

    If I'm ever filthy rich, I'll buy you that ticket to New Zealand...but I'm going along too. Don't hold your breath though. Take care,

    hawgdaddy

    ReplyDelete
  2. Here's hoping that you get rich soon...this cold weather is killing me! By the way, how was Blacktail Deer Pond?

    ReplyDelete
  3. hawgdaddy10:32 AM

    Well, it didn't pan out for us. We stopped by as an afterthought on our way to the Lamar after some sight-seeing. The sun was straight overhead with not a cloud in the sky, it was windy and hot. We saw one large fish rising sporadically far out beyond our casting range (I might have been able to make the cast with a heavier rod, but most others in the group were complete beginners). I think earlier in the season would be much better. This was late July. It's a very pretty little pond. Here's hoping I get rich soon, too!

    hawgdaddy

    ReplyDelete

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