As the end of the semester is now knocking on the door, I'm starting to come to terms with the fact that I have two and a half weeks to fish at my leisure. My first fishing experience will be taking place on the South Holston where the big browns are being caught regularly now. For more info on this interesting fact, check out the fishing report from the South Holston River Flyshop where they have pictures of several hogs...
I've been tying a few flies in between studying for finals and as soon as I get home, I'll be tying fast and furiously trying to prepare for the behemoth browns that await and will probably tear my flies to shreds. Of course, I'll likely get some time on the home river, the Caney Fork. Also, a trip to a new river is in the works. I've been hearing great things for several years now about the Cumberland River below Wolf Creek Dam and will finally attempt a trip. The sad part is that the Cumberland is closer to my house than the Smokies and only about 30 miles farther than the Caney and yet, I've never been. The rumors of big fish have finally convinced me that an investigation should be carried out. The last month or so I've really been missing the tug of a big fish on the other end of the line so this break will be dedicated to looking for the big guys. Check back soon for updates...
UPDATE: 10/16/2016 Smokies Fly Fishing Report -- Current Hatches: Isonychias (aka Slate Drake or Mahogany Dun), Blue-winged Olives, Mahogany Duns (Paraleptophlebia), Little Yellow Stoneflies, Golden Stoneflies, Tan and Cinnamon Caddis, October Caddis (local name but not true October Caddis, Great Brown Autumn Sedges is a more proper name), inch worms, beetles, and ants. Near all-time record low water everywhere you go! Water temperatures are good now with cool overnight fall weather the norm. Fish throughout the Park now and focus on stealth and finding faster broken pocket water where you can get close to the trout. More advanced anglers may enjoy the opportunity to sight fish to trout on gin clear flats and pools where the slightest mistake will send them scurrying for cover. Stonefly or Isonychia nymphs and terrestrials are probably your best bet in faster water for numbers until we get more rain although Blue-winged Olives and October Caddis dries will get a lot of looks.
Caney Fork Fly Fishing Report: The Caney Fork continues to be outstanding. We have boated some large brown and rainbow trout over the last week and that pattern should continue for the next couple of months. I have some availability if you are looking for a guided trip so contact me about a float or wade trip if you want to enjoy this fishing at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com or call/text (931) 261-1884.
Clinch River Fishing Report: Fishing continues to be good and there are some wadeable flows on a regular basis now. Long fine leaders and midges are the recipe on low water. Combine this with long casts and you will be rewarded. High water is producing some quality trout. Nymphs and midges or streamers are both going to produce on high water.
Holston River: Give this river a break on the trout sections until next winter. Water temperatures on most of the trout water are elevated and fishing now will stress these beautiful fish.
Cumberland Plateau Fishing Report: Cooler weather will get the bass fired up again as they feed heavily before winter sets in. Muskie will be hot as well. Our current problem is low water. Wading is an option but I would wait longer until we get some rain to start fishing these streams again.
A NOTE ON SPAWNING TROUT
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.