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

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Black Friday

While the rest of the world was patronizing the shopping centers and malls in search of a great bargain on Christmas gifts, I was off to fish my favorite river yet again. Standing knee-deep in the quiet waters of the Caney was a great alternative to the hustle and bustle of racing from store to store in a continual search for the ultimate deal. The fishing was perfect and the catching was just a nice bonus.

The cool weather was the only downside but I was able to beat it by touching very few fish. That's another great bonus of fishing tiny barbless flies. When you get the fish in, if you are quick with your hands you can just gently grab the hook and with a flick of the wrist remove the hook. The fish is happy to not be touched and you still get the enjoyment of the catch. Of course, I had to take an occasional picture which generally required picking the fish up one way or another.


To make the day better, I had a fishing buddy from East Tennessee that wanted to check out the river. Gerry Romer has been wanting to try out the Caney and since it was his birthday (Happy Birthday Gerry!), he figured it would be the perfect time. He couldn't have picked a better day. The fishing was just ridiculous. There were at least three times that I caught fish on back-to-back-to-back casts just to give you an idea of how crazy it was out there. Nothing huge, but we each caught some nice fish up to around 15 inches.


The big browns are up on the gravel so be extremely careful when wading. It would be nice for the fish to have a successful spawn. A little caution on the part of us fisherman can go a long ways towards making that happen.

As for the specifics on the fishing, we started out downriver from where I usually fish. The morning hours until around noon were spent nailing fish after fish on dries with the normal zebra midge dropper. I was really surprised at how many fish at our dries on Friday. The rumors of good dry fly fishing from the Resident Angler blog were quite accurate and you won't find us complaining about catching fish on top.

In the afternoon, we moved up to just below the dam. This section was not as easy as the morning but we were still catching plenty of fish. After a few extended slow spells, I started experimenting and finally started tearing them up again with a large (for the Caney) nymphs under an indicator. A beadhead Hares Ear nymph in a #16 worked well as did a #14 red Copper John. My best brown came to the BHGRHE near sunset. I was working a good run and had just missed several strikes in a row. Feeling frustrated, I refocused and when the indicator sucked under, I set the hook quickly to find this guy tugging on the other end. He bulldogged for awhile but finally came to hand for a quick picture.


Overall it was a great day on the river and I can't wait until Christmas break so I can do it again!!!

8 comments:

  1. Excellent report as always David. Good to hear you guys had some fun on the Caney. I only wish that I could write as good as you do, everything flows so well. Keep it coming.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Tubakka12:16 AM

    Hey man. I'm a tech student that fishes the Caney. I do not know how to fly fish, and by necessity learned to fish the Caney with a spinning outfit. My specialty is using suspending jerkbaits, but I will pretty much do anything within my power to catch fish, with bait as a last [but very viable] resort. I am more at home with muskies and bass and trolling and casting lakes, but I've found alot of the same knowledge applies, just a slightly different angle of interpretation. Fish are fish are fish no matter where they swim. Trout in lakes adapt to live in those systems, and largemouth in rivers adapt as well. I love targeting larger trout [browns primarily, though wanting to learn mmore about the few and rare big rainbows...]. If you want to hook up sometime soon, I'd love to go. I actually prefer to fish with a good flyfisherman, that way if what I'm doing isn't working at all, I know whether or not its my approach that's off or if the fish are just throwing a hissy fit...plus, well, i figure somebody oughtta be catching fish even if it isn't me. 618-559-3494. And if you want to go, I have a place that I could get you hooked up with a musky on a fly nearby. Let me know...and yes, the possibility at a mid to high 40" or even a 50"...in a stream. Believe it or not...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Tubakka, I'm always glad for company on the water! Also, I've been thinking about pursuing musky for awhile and have an idea where you might be talking about although I've never tried. I'll be around over Christmas break if you are interested in meeting up to fish the Caney. I'll definitely be down there quite a bit. Send me an email when the time gets closer (you can find it under my profile) and we'll try to get together to fish... If you want to try fly fishing out, I have extra gear...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous12:23 PM

    David --

    Great report (altough you could have played up the temp problems a bit more...I swear, my whole face was chapped)!! I had a blast and will definitely be back on the Caney soon. As you might have guessed, Brett was a bit jealous so as soon as we can sync up his day off with one of mine, I'm sure we'll be headed your way. If temps cooperate, we'll probably head over in early January. I'll keep you posted.

    Thanks again for all you r help and patience!

    Gerry

    ReplyDelete
  5. Gerry, ya'll are welcome to come fish with me anytime. I'll be free for a couple of weeks after Christmas so just let me know... The big browns will hopefully be done spawning by then so are catch size might improve a bit...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Tubakka11:11 AM

    David,
    I know it's a touchy subject, but I just don't really like flyfishing. I used to try it for panfish, and that was fun, but its just a skill I haven't developed, and really don't have the time or want to take the time to develop it. I highly respect people who are good at it, but I do pretty good on my jerkbait program, something I've spent a good 20-30 trips perfecting, and still adding things to. So far this year I've gotten 5 over 20", all browns, with the largest being a 28" this spring. I utilize alot of tactics I've picked up from fly anglers, but I am just really partial to the finesse I can get with spinning tackle and little jerkbaits. It's a blast. I'm ready to get a 30" though, I've seen a few that had to be close to that size wallowing around. The jerkbait thing seems to fall short on larger rainbows, although I bet if I can plant one in front of a mid 20" I can get it to take. My biggest rainbow is 18" but that is by far my biggest rainbow. I love fishing alongside flyfishermen though...somedays one works better than the other, and if I'm not catching fish< i like to know it's either A. My tactic or B. The fishing is just hard and I need to keep at it. Let me know, give me a call. Great blog by the way!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Very cool blog, lots of gorgeous fish, looking forward to reading more! -Michael

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous1:40 PM

    David,

    I looked at all the posts on this page and enjoyed the stories. Also, those are some excellent photos of nice fish. I like your work.

    Luke

    ReplyDelete

Newsletter

Subscribe to the Trout Zone Anglers Newsletter!

* indicates required