Guided Trips


Current fishing conditions in the mountains have been tough although rain overnight has bumped up the levels on Park streams, especially on the Tennessee side. Be careful as lots of leaves are going to be coming down now with brisk northwest winds behind the cold front. That can make fishing challenging. If you do fish, I would suggest fishing dry/dropper with a #14 Orange Stimulator or Orange Elk Hair Caddis up top and a bead head Green Weenie, Isonychia Nymph, or Blue-winged Olive Nymph (#18-#20 bead head Pheasant Tail will suffice here) underneath. Focus on stealth and accurate casts.

If you are flexible in where you fish, I recommend heading for your favorite tailwater to trout fish. Most tailwaters are offering good flows for wade fishermen right now and the fish are hungry. The Hiwassee River has been recently stocked for the delayed harvest and the Caney Fork continues to fish very well on our guide trips. The Watauga, South Holston, and Clinch Rivers should be great as well.

If musky are on your mind like they are for me, then be patient and hope for more rain. The musky streams and rivers are very low right now and we need some water before safely navigating those streams in the larger boats that are preferred.

This is the time of year that brown and brook trout as well as some strains of rainbow trout spawn. On rivers like the Caney Fork, many anglers choose to target these spawning trout. This is unfortunate, especially this year. There are plenty of pre- and post-spawn trout to target if you want to catch big fish. With low water the norm, the Caney Fork actually has a chance at producing some natural recruitment this year barring any unforeseen high water. The same thing applies in the Smokies. Spawning brown and brook trout are extra vulnerable because of the low water and should be allowed to do their thing in peace. The future of these fisheries depends upon conscientious anglers doing the right thing. If you must fish to spawning trout, please use very heavy tippets and quickly land and release all fish caught. If you want to learn how to be successful this time of year without chasing active spawners, please consider booking a guided trip, and I would be glad to teach you how to hunt these large fish.

Photo of the Month: The Colors of a Rainbow

Photo of the Month: The Colors of a Rainbow

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Solunar Tables

Our latest poll was on the topic of solunar tables that forecast the best fishing days, including the time of major feeding periods. I found the results interesting but also largely what I expected. I majority of responses were for the "Never" category. As I said, it was not unexpected but I think that a lot of people are missing out on some great opportunities. Of course, a lot of people don't get out that often (like me now) unfortunately and don't have the luxury of going on the forecast best days. They are just glad to be able to go when they can.

I would be willing to bet that the people that do pay attention to these tables have discovered some incredible fishing during the forecast peak periods. Fisherman that target large fish are especially likely to refer to these charts, at least in my experience. Personal experience has taught me that there really is something to these charts and I go fishing during "best" days as often as possible. If you haven't ever looked at a solunar fishing table or very rarely, I would encourage you to give it a shot. It can't hurt anything...


  1. ijsouth11:14 PM

    I don't know...I remember a while back (and I'm dating myself now), back in the 70s bass fishing scene, that the Solunar Tables were fairly popular. You don't see as much on them nowadays, or perhaps I just don't notice them. Saltwater fishing dominates down here, so the tide charts are everything, along with the wind speed and direction.

  2. It is amazing but most of my very best days for both numbers and size have been during "good" (or even fair) days according to the charts... I honestly don't plan trips strictly around them but if I see it is a peak day and I have time free, I'll usually try to wet a line somewhere...



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