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

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Dark Skies, Drizzle, Rising Trout


Sunday I fished and worked hard for a few fish until I went up to the dam and things improved. Several fish came to hand including the rainbow above. Nothing could compare with the more recent outing though. Yesterday I witnessed probably the best rise I've ever encountered on the Caney Fork. The dreary weather was probably largely responsible and for this reason I had headed to the river hoping for a good hatch of craneflies. I must have been late because they were all over the vegetation along the river but there were very few hatching while I was actually there. The blackflies more than made up for the lack of larger bugs however. Nothing in my box was a good match unfortunately, a mistake I won't make again. Thankfully the fish were not picky and took small nymphs often enough to keep me happy. The number of rising fish was ridiculous, reminiscent of some of the most spectacular days on the Hiwassee this spring. Fish were sipping, slashing, slurping, even leaping clear of the water occasionally to take the tiny bugs. It even seemed the fish were more colorful than usual on this amazing day...

I fished until I grew tired, the late afternoon and evening blended together in the growing fog from the cold river. The sun slowly slid out of the sky and over the hills, ushering in the shadows that signaled the approach of nightfall. I eventually quit fishing, not so much because of the impending dark but because the fog was becoming too thick to see my indicator dry and I didn't feel like blindly stripping buggers or softhackles.

Fog, something we haven't seen in middle Tennessee for months it seems. The current drought conditions have kept things dry enough to generally prevent the development of fog. It was even cold, and in the middle of June no less. The frigid discharge from Center Hill Lake kept freezing my hands every time I had to dip them in the water to land my fish. You won't find me complaining. After days of temperatures in the mid 90's, I'll be downright glad to shiver for an hour or two.

This next weekend is my trip to the South Holston. Hopefully the fishing will be good, even half as good as what I experienced yesterday would be fine.

3 comments:

  1. The second image deserves be the photo of the month. Great picture.
    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  2. David,

    As always, your pictures are amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the kind words...the lighting yesterday made photography easy, it was a special afternoon and evening!!!

    ReplyDelete

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