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

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Trout Zone in Oklahoma

Due to the ultra slow dial-up I'm using, my posts are being made without pictures for the time being. This means I will attempt to whet your appetite for the pictures to follow in a few days because I'm not going to sit here long enough to upload them. I'm on vacation afterall... Between snake hunting and fishing, I've managed to keep relatively busy.

The creek out back was up and muddy the first couple of days I was here, limiting the fishing potential. Finally I took my spinning rod (gasp, no the Trout Zone doesn't follow purist philosophy) down with a small spinner and caught several various sunfish and a small bass. Wandering down the creek I spotted what appeared to be a gar or pickerel. Having never caught either, I spent some time trying to get it to strike but went unrewarded. Today I went fishing again, catching a better bass (at least for the size of the creek) and getting the long nosed toothy fish from the previous day to give chase to my spinnerbait. Once again I failed to connect leaving me to spend this evening pondering just how to catch it. Its got to be the fly rod I've decided. The few times I saw the fish appearing to feed, it seemed to be on the surface. Tomorrow I will go down to the creek again to give battle to the toothy monster, assuming I don't run into any dangerous critters on the way.

Speaking of dangerous critters, not wishing to fish at night with all manner of frightening animals lurking about, a recent evening was spent hunting snakes. How is that safer than the creek? At least I KNOW where the dangerous animals are at. I spent awhile driving the backroads looking for any interesting snakes to photograph, hoping to find a rattler. Instead I was rewarded with just another copperhead. I've seen quite enough of those in my life and really don't care to see another, especially after last night. The crazy thing was grouchy and decided to chase me. Usually they keep calm while the bright lights from the car shine on them, allowing me to get close enough for a good picture. I've photographed both copperheads and rattlesnakes this way. This copperhead had other ideas though and promptly chased me back to the car. A few minutes were spent donning my headlamp in preparation of round two. After attempting in vain to get a decent photo from the window, I gingerly stepped back onto the road towards the snake. This time it held relatively still for a series of pictures which will be showcased here in a few days. Life on vacation isn't dull at least!

If a new species is landed on the fly rod tomorrow, I'll have a fresh report up and ready...keep your fingers crossed for me...

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