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

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Journey

Some of my favorite moments while travelling occur when I least expect them. Probably this is largely the allure of the highway, at least for me. Enjoyment comes simply from seeing what is around the next bend or over the next hill. I suppose it is the explorer in me begging to be turned loose.

During West Trip 2007, there were many exciting moments that revolved around fishing. Seeing huge fish, casting to huge fish, hooking, fighting and landing huge (for me) fish. Then there were other moments, ones that still involved fishing but for different reasons. Perfect light for an awesome picture on the upper Gibbon, the huge buffalo I almost walked up on at the Lamar, the elk skull with large antlers still intact, and even the little fish I caught, all these hold a special memory. Finally there are those moments that happen on every fishing trip that occur away from fishing, an interesting stop on the road for example. Or maybe the coyote that wasted my bumper and radiator.

Early in the trip, several interesting moments presented themselves. One of my favorites was a small falls we found roadside in Colorado. It was pouring out of a tiny canyon, more of a slot canyon really. It reminded me of my days roaming around the arid wasteland also known as Utah where the raw beauty of the earth is put on display front and center. The little trickle was in shadows and didn't provide a particularly great photo opportunity, especially considering that I forgot to get out the tripod. It was special though, in part because of the past memories it brought back.


It is these moments that keep me cruising down the roads of America, always searching for something new and yet apparently searching for remembrance also. Already I look forward to my next road trip and hope it will come sooner as opposed to later. There's something I must find around the next bend...

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