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

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Home Water


After a long fishing trip, it would be easy to have one of two problems. The first problem that could develop would be an addiction to fishing every day as much as you wanted. The second potential problem is that you could get so tired of fishing that you wouldn't go for a few weeks.

I probably am as close to being right between these two problems (and hopefully this means normal) as you can get. The shakes haven't taken over yet but I don't have to stay away from fishing either. Curiosity took over yesterday and I made the short drive down to my "home" tailwater, the Caney Fork. I had to do some research to see how the fish were doing.

Wow! Talk about being a bit rusty. As much as it sounds ridiculous, the west had spoiled me with hard to spook, easy to catch fish. I started out using standard indicators and quickly had to go back to my dry dropper to get into fish. Once I started the old routine I remembered so well, things started to improve. Another problem soon became apparent however. Caney Fork fish are perhaps some of the fastest in the world at taking a fly and spitting it back out. I had grown accustomed to big stupid Cutts on the Yellowstone that would grab my fly and dart upstream with the indicator dragging behind. Reaction time wasn't all that important and so my reflexes were a bit off.


I stuck some nice fish and missed a bunch, but somehow managed to bring a few to hand as well. The good news I discovered is that the fish are in great shape heading towards fall. If we can avoid any late summer dissolved oxygen issues, this fall should bring some of the best fishing we've seen in awhile on the Caney Fork including some excellent sight fishing opportunities for larger fish. There are lots of healthy holdovers and all the fish seemed fat and full of fight. Of course, I can't make too many judgements off of just one fishing trip so expect to see me on the river again soon doing more "research."

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