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

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Late Smokies Report

I have been swamped with homework and other things that needed doing so this is a few days late. Over the weekend I went up to camp at Elkmont CG and fish in the park. There were supposed to be a lot of other fisherman in for the weekend from everything I had heard, so I decided that it would be a good time to do a backcountry day trip.

I woke up and ate a leisurely breakfast of pancakes, fruit, and hot chocolate. Afterwards I filled my water pack and threw some items in to eat over the course of the day. I started up Little River Trail around 11:00 and by noon was just over 4 miles from the trailhead where a nice tributary enters Little River. I hiked a few hundred yards and finally couldn't stand it any longer and got in the water and began casting. Nothing hit my beadhead Tellico in the first few casts and then I saw fish rising just above me. Of course, who can resist casting to rising trout? After checking the water temp (50.5 degrees), I quickly tied on a Quill Gordon spundun and soon had my first small trout. Ten minutes and 5 fish later, my dry fly was struggling to stay afloat and I didn't feel like constantly changing flies so I tied a double nymph rig on. The fish still approved and I worked up the stream catching fish out of almost every "fishy" spot that I came to.

I eventually tied another dry on though. After fishing nymphs a lot all winter, it is just too much fun to watch the fish do cartwheels trying to hit my dry. The fishing was so ridiculous that I even caught fish when I lowered my rod, looked around for awhile, finally returned my focus to fishing and discovered fish had found the hook and were still on the line. This happened several times over the course of the day. Man I love spring!!!

One of my favorite parts of the whole day was when I found a nice plunge pool. I just knew that a fish had to be sitting at the bottom waiting for stuff to come drift by. After a couple experimental casts to figure out how my flies were drifting, I got the proper angle of presentation figured out and the fun began. A fat 8 inch rainbow took the Tellico and fought like a twelve incher. I figured, "what the heck..." and cast back in. This time a 9 inch rainbow took my fly. "No way another one is going to hit" I thought. Next cast, another 9 inch+ rainbow hit. That must have been the last of the nicer rainbows though because the next cast only yielded a 6 inch fish. 4 fish in about 5 minutes.....Absolutely crazy....

I finished up the day having fished close to a mile of stream and also got the Smokies slam with 1 brown and 1 brookie in addition to all the rainbows. This was definitely the best day of fishing I've had since last fall and I can't wait to do it again!!!

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