Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 11/1/2018

Fishing is good in the Smokies and other mountain streams if you can catch it on a day where the wind is minimal. Otherwise, expect lots of leaves in the water for the next few days. Delayed harvest streams are also being stocked and fishing well in east Tennessee and western North Carolina.

In the Smokies, fall bugs are in full swing. We have been seeing blue-winged olives almost daily although they will hatch best on foul weather days. They are small, typically running anywhere from #20-#24 although a few larger ones have also shown up. A few October Caddis are still around as well. Terrestrials are close to being done for the year although we are still seeing a few bees and hornets near the stream. Isonychia nymphs, caddis pupa, and BWO nymphs will get it done for your subsurface fishing. Have some October Caddis (#12) and parachute BWO patterns (#18-#22) for dry flies and you should be set. Not interested in matching the hatch? Then fish a Pheasant Tail nymph under a #14 Parachute Adams. That rig can catch fish year round in the Smokies.

Brook and brown trout are now moving into the open to spawn. During this time of year, please be extremely cautious about wading through gravel riffles and the tailouts of pools. If you step on the redd (nest), you will crush the eggs that comprise the next generation of fish. Please avoid fishing to actively spawning fish and let them do their thing in peace.

Our tailwaters are still cranking although the Caney is finally starting to come down. I'm still hoping to get a firsthand report on the Caney Fork soon although it might be sometime next week or the week after before that happens at the earliest. Stay tuned for more on that. Fishing will still be slow overall with limited numbers of fish in that particular river unfortunately.

The Clinch is featuring high water as they try to catch up on the fall draw down. All of the recent rainfall set them back in this process but flows are now going up to try and make up some of the time lost. It is still fishing reasonably well on high water although we prefer the low water of late fall and early winter as it is one of our favorite times to be on the river.

Smallmouth are about done for the year with the cooler weather we are now experiencing. I caught a few yesterday on the Tennessee River while fishing with guide Rob Fightmaster, but overall the best bite is all but over. Our thoughts will be turning to musky soon, however. Once we are done with guide trips for the year, we'll be spending more time chasing these monsters.

In the meantime, we still have a few open dates in November. Feel free to get in touch with me if you are interested in a guided trip. Thanks!

Photo of the Month: Fishing in Paradise

Photo of the Month: Fishing in Paradise

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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