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

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Of Seasons and Psychology


Our most recent poll asked you which season was your favorite for fishing. Surprisingly, the majority of voters picked fall. Now I'll admit, fall is my personal favorite but every time I see this discussion come up, most people would vote for spring with its consistent hatches and the first reliable action after the cold winter months.

When I first picked the topic for this poll, I fully expected to see spring come through as the winner. Past experience on the water tells me that more people are fishing in the spring than in the fall. After a lot of thought, I decided the issue might revolve around the complexities of the human mind. I know I have at least a marginal tendency towards the following: the best season for fishing is whichever one is right around the corner.

Thus it makes sense that everyone is excited about fishing in the fall. I distinctly remember this subject appearing on several forums such as the LRO Board last spring. More properly, I should say early last spring when the first hatches were just about to take off. Everyone had been stuck inside all winter (at least the lazy folk...) and most people were sure that spring was the best time to fish. Now that we have a secondary "peak" in productive fishing coming up, people are turning their thoughts and minds towards the opportunities of fall such as large aggressive brown trout. Indeed, some of my best browns caught in the Smokies were taken in the September-November time frame.

Of course, it is also entirely possible that the majority of people that took the time to vote really do think fall is the best time of year for fishing. Regardless, it appears that a lot of fisherman are looking forward to the fall season.

For those interested in the final statistics, the poll was broken down by the following:

Spring - 27%
Summer - 6%
Fall - 66%
Winter - No one....

I guess I know when I'll be fishing to avoid the crowds...

4 comments:

  1. I think Fall's better because there are far fewer people on the river. The bugs are smaller, the water's lower and clearer, and the fishing's tougher.

    The yahoos are gone.

    It's definitely the best time of the year.

    ReplyDelete
  2. ijsouth11:34 PM

    From my personal standpoint, Fall has always been my favorite fishing season. It is when I caught my first really big bass. It is the time of year when I've limited out on speckled trout in the marsh. Around here, the day after Thanksgiving is the busiest day for marina operators; it's usually great fishing, and also you have duck hunters heading out to their blinds.

    We're planning on heading up to the mountains the third weekend in October; I'll show the kids our little slice of the Smokies I bought in the Cosby area, and hopefully we'll be able to hit Straight Fork again.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well put TC...especially the fact that the yahoos are gone...

    Ijsouth, glad you'll be able to make it up to the Smokies in October. That time of year can be magical. I'll be up there myself that weekend so maybe we'll run into each other...

    ReplyDelete
  4. ijsouth11:19 PM

    That weekend works out perfectly for us, or almost anyway; my two youngest have a bye week in soccer, and Tennessee is playing Bama, but in Tuscaloosa. The only wild card is the weather - btw, there's a chance of something organized developing in the gulf this weekend - there will be a lot of rain down here, at any rate.

    ReplyDelete

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