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, May 25, 2007

Protection for Rio Grande Cutts?

A few years ago (2002), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service denied protection to the Rio Grande Cutthroat. This decision was apparently contrary to the language contained in the Endangered Species Act.
Under the Endangered Species Act, an endangered species is defined as any species that is at risk of extinction in "all or a significant portion of range."
From the Environmental News Network, we read that the Rio Grande Cutts may get another chance.
In response to a lawsuit brought by the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it will again consider the Rio Grande cutthroat trout for protection as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act.
This is great news especially for trout fisherman. I've always dreamed of a trip to southern Colorado or northern New Mexico to catch this special fish. Unfortunately, it seems that politics have stood in the way of recovery for this unique Cutthroat trout. One of the more interesting statistics?
To date, the Bush administration has protected just 57 species - the fewest for any six-year period since the inception of the Endangered Species Act. There were 512 species protected under President Clinton and 234 protected during George H. W. Bush's presidency. During the last six years of the Clinton administration, just 13 percent of decisions denied protection to species, compared to 52 percent during the six years of the current Bush administration.
Okay, so that was more than one statistic but disturbing nonetheless... Maybe the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will make the right decision and preserve this fish for generations to come.

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