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, August 18, 2007

I'm Back

Gibbon Falls, Yellowstone NP

The Trip is over. After many long miles and countless hours of fishing, I have returned to Tennessee to prepare for another school year. The long anticipated trip was everything I had hoped it would be. I saw some of the best scenery in the country, my buddy and I caught plenty of fish including some real hogs, and we had no worries for three great weeks. Of course, there were some headaches involved so I guess I shouldn't really say no worries although none of my problems ever caused too much stress. There's something soothing about going fishing that makes everything else seem better.

Over the upcoming days and probably weeks, I'll be sharing various happenings and reports from the trip. Some of the highlights include the large trout caught, generally by sight casting, the multiple radiators required to keep the car going, and some crazy timing issues that happened.

The trip started in a big way with the first of our radiator troubles. The plan was to drive to Colorado from Tennessee, basically driving straight through with perhaps a couple of hours sleep in the car. Everything went well and I caught a few hours sleep in the car at a Rest Area in the Texas Panhandle. Around 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning, I woke up refreshed and ready to push on towards our destination. I started up the car and carefully made my way back onto Interstate 40 headed west.

Probably 15 miles later, I had the cruise set around 70 and was doing great when suddenly, I saw a coyote come streaking out of the blackness not more than 10 feet in front of me from the left. Of course, at that distance and at 70 mph, there isn't much you can do. I'm sure the coyote got the bad end of the deal but in the process, a large chunk was ripped out of the side of my front bumper and somehow, the radiator was damaged. The discovery occurred around 20 miles west of there when we stopped for fuel in Amarillo. Just before heading on, it seemed like a good idea to double check my fluids and in the process I noticed an unnatural puddle under the front end of my car. A quick examination showed that my radiator was low on fluid and quickly losing what little it had left. An even closer examination yielded a crazy find on my bumper. The coyote struck so hard, it actually left guard hairs embedded in the bumper which can still be seen today.

Coyote guard hairs embedded in my front bumper

Being probably 4:30 at this point, there was little to do except to park and try to catch another couple hours of sleep.

After grabbing breakfast at the closest fast food joint, we were on our way over to the local Toyota dealership to see if my radiator could be replaced anytime soon. We arrived just as they were opening and they were nice enough to look my car over immediately. The broken radiator diagnosis was verified and miraculously, they found one in town that fit my car and we were back on the road well before noon.

We were soon in Colorado and headed towards the Gunnison vicinity where we planned on fishing the Taylor river. Of course, the big start to the trip continued with hot fishing on the Taylor but that's something for next time.

Well, perhaps a little teaser, my first fish of the trip...

A Taylor River brown, the first of many...

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