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, February 12, 2007

Slow Days and the Magic Touch

Yesterday I finally got out on the water again. I ran up to the Hiwassee for an afternoon of fishing, hoping that it would be as good as it was last time I fished a couple of weeks ago. It wasn't. While I did catch fish, it was slow except for when the generation pulse came through. The push of water came through right about the time that the hatch of little black stoneflies peaked. The fish went on a surface feeding binge and for the next 1/2 hour the fishing was good. The fish lost their timidity and were rising well. The best fly during this time was a parachute adams that just happened to very nearly match the stoneflies that were on the water in size and color.

An amusing incident took place later in the day that highlighted an otherwise routine fishing trip. I was fishing with my buddy Kevin and since he is thinking about getting another rod for tailwaters, I offered to let him try out my St. Croix Legend Ultra. I waded over to him while my line flyline trailed downstream and handed him the rod. He simply lifted the rod tip and had a fish on the end without having cast the rod yet (picture at right). Talk about the magic touch. Some days when the fish are feeding well I wouldn't have been as surprised but the conditions were tough yesterday. It gave us a good laugh as I threatened to take back my rod if he caught another fish...

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