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

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Foul Weather, Epic Hatches, and Hungry Trout

The last two days have been less than desirable weather-wise. Of course, as a fly fisherman I start thinking about BWOs during inclement weather. The dreary conditions got the bugs going and the fish have responded enthusiastically (see video above). The surface of the water was carpeted at times with the little mayflies. Today, the hatch started in earnest while it was raining and this made it even harder for the bugs to take flight. The fish were feeding with abandon, completely oblivious to any potential dangers around them.

Yesterday was the better day as far as numbers of fish caught, but both days will be remembered for a long time to come. This was by far the largest and most concentrated hatch I've witnessed here in Tennessee. At times, I felt like I had been magically taken to the Firehole in Yellowstone where I have experienced similar blizzard hatches.
These bugs were everywhere and were being eaten by these...


The best two fish took my softhackle dropper instead of the dry fly offering...


The monotony of clouds and rain was broken when the sun made a late afternoon appearance, lighting up the opposite bank...




2 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:55 AM

    Howm many tails does that mayfly have? BWO only have two tail:)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Most of the bugs were not the Baetis that are more commonly known as BWOs but from what I can gather, they were most likely some species of Attenella. These bugs do have three tails and are also commonly referred to as small BWOs (or Slate-Wing Olives). I'm not enough of an entomologist to be sure about this so any further ideas would be welcome...

    ReplyDelete

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