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

Monday, December 03, 2007

Better Than Nothing



Everyone has those days when you're catching fish but they just can't compare with the fish in another location. After being spoiled on my home waters over Thanksgiving break, the rubber trout of the Hiwassee didn't give the same thrill that they sometimes do. For example, if I haven't fished in a few weeks, the Hiwassee is great, and usually I'll catch a few colorful fish that make up for the rest of the dumb stockers. This last weekend wasn't one of those days. All the fish were cookie cutter stockers that looked like this:


When you compare this guy to the fish I regularly catch on my home waters, there's just no comparison.


The day wasn't completely useless as I discovered some very nice browns that should give me a great challenge this winter. If I'm lucky, perhaps I'll eventually catch one of the big boys. Thankfully, Christmas break will be here soon and I'll be back on the Caney and will probably even get some time in on the South Holston. Not a bad way to spend the holidays... Until then, you'll find me at the vise preparing for the festivities.

December 2006, SoHo

3 comments:

  1. Anonymous7:05 PM

    Those rubber trout must be a specialty of Tennessee Fish & Game; I hung a few in Cosby, just before the stream leaves the park. All about the same size (around 12"), and no fight to them, even on a 2wt. I don't carry a net, but this is one time I wished I had one - I lost them both right at my hand, and I wouldn't have had any qualms about keeping them - the kids would have loved that.

    Amazingly, in the same stretch, I caught a beautiful, wild 7" bow that actually hit the reel - amazing what a difference it was in fighting ability...I was happy to release that one. In the meantime, a big egret or blue heron could get very fat on those dumb fish.

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  2. Anonymous5:11 PM

    First of all, GREAT SITE! Since I found this blog I check in almost daily to see what you've been catching. Between you and DD at hiwassee.net I have learned a great deal about fly-fishing, I am about 4 months into it now and am starting to actually catch a few. I think all of the fish I have caught have had some kind of brain-damage. Anyway, I live about 30 minutes from the Hiwassee and have to agree that there is not much going on there lately. I even hiked down the Quality Zone 3 times with only a small brown to show for it (it is very beautiful there, though).

    After seeing all the fish that you have caught on the Caney, I am now planning a trip there this weekend to check it out for the first time. I hope I get lucky and catch a few nice ones. My favorite rig-up is a brown hackle peacock with a pheasant tail nymph dropper. Think this set-up will work there as well? Any other advice would be well recieved! Again, great site, I know newbies like me really appreciate it!

    Mike C. Athens, TN

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  3. Mike, first of all, thanks for reading my blog. Your favorite rig should catch fish on the Caney. If you're going to be there in the morning, I would recommend adding a midge (I like zebra midges) to your setup. The fish seem to key on the midge pupa early in the day as the bugs start hatching and the zebra midge is a good match. If you look through the archives here on my blog (Feb. 2007 to be exact), I posted about how I rig up with a zebra midge. That is how I do a lot of my fishing on the Caney but to be successful, you'll need some other techniques as well and your softhackle with a PT dropper should cover some other situations well. This weekend should be good so have fun!

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