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 15, 2007

Tour de Rockies

No it isn't a bike race... Originally supposed to be a Yellowstone trip (to go fishing of course), my trip west is starting to gain momentum and destinations. Colorado is most likely being added and hopefully this means I will once again fish the Gold Medal waters of the Gunnison for big hard-fighting rainbows and browns that will bulldog deep in the strong current. My last experience with this special place left me yearning for more and it looks like it might happen.

Remember this fish? A nice rainbow from the Gunnison...

This year will bring a new experience for me on this stream. Supposedly the terrestrial fishing is excellent in August and the way things are looking, the flows shouldn't be too bad this year as compared to last year where I was chucking heavy nymphs along the banks. Even with last years high water I still caught around 20 fish in probably 3 hours with lots in the 14-16 inch range and one big brown pushing 18 or 19 inches.

Hopefully I'll be able to hit some small streams for Cutthroat in Colorado also. If I'm really lucky I'll get my first shot at the Greenback Cutts in Rocky Mountain National Park. The chance to add another strain of Cutthroat to the list is one that will be hard to pass up. Of course, when one covers as much ground as I will be, interesting ideas start to develop. For instance, how many different types of Cutthroat could one catch on such a trip? I can think of several and maybe it will happen. Time will only tell...

I could go on and on about how tough life is when you have to fish as much as I do, and I could mention a few more of the streams I hope to fish where the average trout is around 5 pounds, but probably it isn't my place to make everyone jealous. Did I mention I'll be on the South Holston in a week or two? This should be a fun fishing trip since I've never fished it in the summer... In the meantime, I absolutely must start cranking out some flies.

Current Fishing Report:
Not all fishing is in the distant future. Today I hit the Caney Fork for an hour or two and did okay catching several fish. Once again I saw some bruisers but as usual they were excessively spooky. I even dropped down to 7x for awhile and it didn't seem to make a difference. However, persistence is key and one of these times I'll catch one. Today I got chased off the river by lightning so maybe I just need to put in more hours. Back to the river on Sunday so check back for a more enthralling report...

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