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

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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