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

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Exploration

Lately I've had exploration on my mind. As I prepare to head west in search of fly fishing nirvana, I've thought of past trips both close to home and far away. The terminology is relative of course. To me, close to home means I can go there often which means a 2-3 hour drive. This is a doable day trip and a nice weekend getaway.

Over the years, some of my favorite streams have been discovered on weekend trips where I go with little or no expectations simply hoping to see the world and maybe catch a fish or two in the process. From roaming the backcountry of the Great Smoky Mountains or Cherokee National Forest to trying new tailwaters throughout Eastern and Middle Tennessee, I've had many great trips. The memories these days have provided come not always just from the fish I catch although those are often memorable in themselves. Instead, I have enjoyed the overall experience...a deer wading deep across the Tellico River. A bear wandering a backroad in Georgia. The large copperhead near dark along the Hiwassee. Even fish occasionally, such as some of the epic days I've had high in the Smokies on new water. All of these combine to produce an experience that will not soon be forgotten.

Lately I've been thinking about the past years when we had more water and I didn't feel guilty fishing in the heat of the summer. My first trip to the Tellico area brought me face to face with Bald River Falls as it plunged over the cliff and down to mingle its waters with those of the larger Tellico River. The falls is an icon in my mind, representing the whole Tellico area which have given me plenty of pleasant surprises. It is a place to escape from the heat, to get out into nature and away from crowds if you know where to go.

Some of my favorite trips of exploration have been "out west." Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, South Dakota, all these states have a special place in my memory and not always because of the fishing. From hiking slot canyons in Utah to descending deep into the gaping Black Canyon of the Gunnison, my time has been well spent seeking those treasures only accessible to those willing to put forth some effort. It is always worth it and I look forward to my next discovery, the next hidden gem that I know I'll find, I just know it....

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