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 30, 2007

Make Your Voice Heard

From the Knoxville New Sentinel, we have learned of a great opportunity to make your voice heard in the states fisheries department. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
is seeking comments from fishermen about the 2008 sport fishing regulations. Fishermen can make suggestions about size limits, creel limits or any other idea or concern they have about the state's fishing regulations. Public comments are considered by fisheries managers and may be presented as proposals for regulation changes.

While I don't know if it will make a difference to send in my comments, I do know that nothing will happen if I keep quiet. I definitely have some suggestions I would like to see implemented, specifically about my "home" tailwater, the Caney Fork. It has the ability to grow very large fish if people would just leave 'em in there a little while. Even with the high pressure from the catch and keep crowd, it still produces very nice fish consistently. While enforcement would be an issue, I would love to see a slot limit on the rainbows. My idea of a good slot limit would be 12-14 or 12-16 inches. This river can support plenty of large trout and I know I would have a great time fishing over 16-20 inch fish each trip. There are already special regulations on the browns so I believe it is time to do the same for the rainbows.

Regardless of what you want to see, take the opportunity to make your voice heard. To send your comments, simply take the time to send a brief email to twra.comment@state.tn.us and be sure to include "sport fish comments" in the subject line.

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