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

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Is it Spring Yet?

As spring break approaches, I have been hoping that the spring hatches would start and be in full swing by the first week in March. Despite some promising trends, it appears that the water temperatures are just not quite going to make it to the magical 50 degree mark just yet. However, we will have some rain moving in over the weekend here in East Tennessee and if we are lucky, it will be a warm rain and boost the water temps into the "good" zone. Will it be enough to get the bugs going? We can only hope...

Thankfully, the lack of strong hatches doesn't mean that fish cannot be caught. I made yet another trip up to the Hiwassee yesterday, this time only for a couple of hours. Once again, the generation pulse made for some fine dry fly fishing. There were more of the little stoneflies coming off than before so that is a good sign. The water from upriver has warmed a bit also which definitely can't hurt. The fish feasted heavily on the stoneflies for the first part of the pulse and then as the water slowly dropped back out, they started keying on a good hatch of TINY midges. Anyone that enjoys fishing very tiny flies to picky risers should try fishing the midge hatch on the Hiwassee. Of course, as always, evening on the Hiwassee is awesome!!!

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