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

Friday, February 16, 2007

A Fly Fishermans Best Friend and Worst Nemesis

The weather. It can make or break a fishing trip. For that matter it can make or break an entire season or year of fishing. For example, in the west, the winter snowpack is crucial in providing plenty of water for the rivers in the summer. A low snowpack and a hot summer can spell disaster for a trout stream. Lately, I have been anxiously watching the winter snowpack reports for the western US. A quick glance at the maps that display the mountain snowpack as a percent of the norm is disturbing. (Additional snowpack products may be obtained here)In the map above, reds, oranges, and yellows represent below normal snowpack. Much of the western US is having a below average to much below average winter for precipitation. With the trip I hope to make to Yellowstone and surrounding areas, I have been nervously watching as the drought monitor continues to indicate abnormally dry conditions throughout much of the west including the greater Yellowstone area.

The first half of the winter I didn't mind the unusual weather associated with El-Nino. Record warmth occurred throughout the eastern United States providing dependable fishing here in Tennessee during months that are traditionally a bit slow due to cold water. However, our fortunes have reversed and we have experienced much below average temperatures throughout the southeast for several weeks now, putting a damper on fishing. Thankfully, it looks like we are headed towards a warming trend by early next week. I'm hoping it brings on the spring hatches in the Smokies. Hopefully the west will get a lot more snow before winter is over as well....

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