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, April 23, 2007

The Crowds Are Out

The time of year has arrived that I always dread. Last weekends excursion was probably one of the last times fishing the Hiwassee without the crowds for awhile now. Yesterday I made the routine trip to the river to fish the Big Bend with a new fishing buddy. We met up before sunrise and the river was socked in with fog. The fog slowly began lifting as the sun peaked over the ridge and lit up the banks with the brilliant colors of spring.

The fishing was okay but not great. Over the course of the day, I caught somewhere between 12 and 15 fish with several 'bows in the 11-13 inch range and the rest smaller browns anywhere from 5-9 inches. The fish were picky for the most part. I had the best luck when the generation pulse came through and I swung softhackles for risers in a large hole. The fish were definately looking for emergers and kept hammering the softhackle. The only thing preventing me from catching more fish was the fact that most were rising safely out of reach. No fish pictures to show, I find myself leaving the camera alone more and more except for the most notable catches, and none were worthy of this distinction. The scenery was excellent however, especially early in the morning and I found myself getting distracted from the fishing trying to capture the everchanging mood of the river....

Anyone interested in fishing this river, pick your time carefully. The river was packed by the middle of the day. I really wouldn't recommend fishing it for awhile unless you are hiking in or it is a weekday. Also, if the weather gets nasty it will provide good fishing again without the crowds. Until this happens, look for me to start spending more time in the Smokies which is where I'll be doing most of my fishing for the next 3 months.

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