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

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Smokies and Crowds

As finals are wrapping up today and tomorrow, I can start looking forward to my upcoming weekend in the mountains. Each year when school gets out, I make at least a weekend trip to fish, camp, relax and recuperate from the demands of the academic world. One year it was the Black Hills, the next it was Yellowstone AND the Black Hills. Last year it was the Smokies and it this year I will be returning to where I learned the intricacies of the sport. The Smokies are my home waters and probably my favorite place to be (please remind me I said this when I start bragging about the great fishing out west later this summer). They provide the perfect opportunity to relax and enjoy myself.

The main concern about the upcoming weekend is the crowds. Tom Chandler of the Trout Underground is supposed to be in the area and we can only assume that there will be hundreds of fans out hoping to catch a glimpse of him fishing dries to rising trout. The potential exists for the traffic snarls to eclipse the famed bear jams of Cades Cove. Thankfully, I really prefer the backcountry and won't think twice about hiking the extra mile (or 7 or 8) to avoid the crowds. My idea of a good day trip is in the 10-15 mile round trip range which will put me beyond all but the most dedicated day trippers. The weather should be nearly perfect with highs in the mountains forecast to be in the 70's. The Yellow Sallies are rumored to be hatching already so look for me flinging a yellow stimulator somewhere on the Tennessee side of the park this weekend. Unfortunately, coming just after a full moon, the fishing may be on the slow side but that is unimportant. Just get me away from the books for a few days and I'll be satisfied. Catching fish will just be a bonus...

2 comments:

  1. The crowds aren't a problem; I'm traveling sans entourage and wearing dark glasses and a fright wig.

    Little Brookies today, but no love on the Little River. The Yellow stones are indeed happening.

    ReplyDelete
  2. ijsouth11:23 PM

    Yep...I was up last week (and the week before), and both times I saw the yellow sallies. I also saw a variety pack of mayflies. The brookies smashed just about any dry I tried, but on my brief foray on Lynn Camp, I had to use nymphs.

    ReplyDelete

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