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, March 09, 2007

Rust and Spring Hatches

The long hoped for spring hatches have arrived in the Smokies!!! They will only get better over the next few days. I fished Abrams Creek today and spent a bit of time on Little River as well. The caddis hatches on Abrams were spectacular. It was definitely the closest I'll ever be in the Smokies to a blizzard hatch of caddis. There were thousands of the bugs filling the air along with Blue Quills, BWOs, and a few Quill Gordons. The fish are still a bit slow to respond to the feeding opportunities however. I think they need another few days possibly before they start keying on the dries consistently. There were plenty of risers to keep me occupied but I had to search them out instead of just picking any spot I wanted. I picked up a few fish on nymphs and a few on dries today.


Luckily for the fish though, I didn't catch nearly as many as I should have considering the excellent conditions. As happens every year, it appears I have some rust I need to get off. The stocked fish of the tailwaters I fish through the winter have made me lazy yet again and I have slowed down a lot. That's fine as long as I stay on the tailwaters, but when I start trying for wild fish in the mountain freestone streams, I must be on top of my game to succeed.

By the end of the day I was getting disgusted with myself for my lack of ability in the catching department. Despite catching several fish in the middle of the day, I couldn't buy a fish later in the day. I even found all the BWO's that Tom Chandler of the Trout Underground has been looking for all winter on his home waters, the Upper Sacramento in California. They apparently all came clear across the country just to grace us with their presence and the fish were rising enthusiastically to the little rusty spinners. I tried to catch the risers but failed miserably. Things looked much better when I tied my nymphs back on and I started sticking fish left and right but still could not bring one to hand. It was probably just as well as I was getting quite frustrated. I know it was in the fishes best interest.

Really, I can't complain at all. It was a beautiful day with temperatures in the 60's and the water is warming enough to get the spring hatches rolling. However, I DO still have a bit of rust to get off so I'll be heading back to the park as soon as possible which will probably be next weekend but I may sneak off one day this next week.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:01 AM

    Great blog. Awsome pics I love fly fishing I just got back form a trip in north GA last week. Look foward to seeing more pics!

    Every Blessing
    Alan

    ReplyDelete

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