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, June 29, 2007

The River Report

Today I made my weekly stop by the Caney Fork for a couple of hours and did very well for a change. The river has been tough lately with the fish appearing to be a bit leader-shy. Today was much better, perhaps due in part to my first experience with Fluorocarbon tippet. I finally decided to shell out the extra $$$ and I'm sold. We'll see how it does when the fish get spooky again though.

The action was basically non-stop with seemingly every fish out feeding. My first fish was caught sight-casting. I had an indicator on but cast down and across to get the proper drift and watched as the fish moved over to eat as my indicator drifted over. The indicator never moved but I could see the fish had taken something and the hookset was sufficient to inform me that it had been my fly. After a lengthy battle, a chunky rainbow came to hand.


I was very impressed with the healthy and overall quality of this fish. As the day progressed, the other fish that had obviously been in the river awhile all seemed in equally good healthy. Based on what I'm seeing now, as long as no disasters occur, the Caney Fork should fish exceptionally well this coming fall and winter. I'm expecting lots of good browns to be caught this next October and November so plan your trip now.

After the first nice rainbow, I continued working up the river catching fish in just about every spot and seeing even more fish. I could have stood in one spot the whole time and caught fish but I like to keep moving around. After I had fished up as far as I wanted, I started to work back down as a storm was approaching. Lightning and graphite rods don't mix well and I wanted to get out in plenty of time. One spot needed special attention as good fish had been working on my way up but wouldn't commit to my fly. The first cast on the way down nailed the fish which turned out to be a beautiful brown. This fish I consider my consolation prize for the day.

As I fought this fish, my thoughts turned to the big fish I had missed. When I first got on the river I had hooked a large brown, somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 inches. It threw the fly before I could get it on the reel and left me staring at the spot where the great fish disappeared. It was particularly tough to lose because I have been trying for this fish for around a month now. I know where it likes to feed and today was the first time I was able to hook it. Thankfully there's always another time and I'm sure one of these days I'll land it as long as someone doesn't haul it out of the river.


Once I landed the consolation brown, I paused just long enough to get a couple of pictures before the release. The fish surged back to its home to be caught another day. The lightning was closer by this time and I got out of the river and made it to my car before the downpour started, satisfied by a nice bit of time on the water...

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