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 31, 2007

Just in Time

Temperatures have plummeted over the last couple of days and they are now running generators for several hours in the morning and evening on the Caney which means my fishing is severely restricted. Thankfully, I got in one last (or perhaps next to last, I might have to go again Friday) trip on Monday.

I met up with a fishing buddy that had only fished the Caney once and wanted to see some access points. We started up high on the river not too far below the dam and things started out kinda slow. I was experimenting with a 3 fly rig, a dry for an indicator followed by a zebra midge and then some type of weighted nymph pattern. Early on, I tried the Copper John that had been doing well during previous recent trips. After that didn't work, I tried another nymph pattern or two before checking a rock off the bottom. Several scuds in the #18-#22 size range were scurrying around ranging in color from gray to olive. I had recently tied up some new patterns that I thought would imitate a scud well and tied it on. Soon I had my first fish and things were looking up. One of my nicest (not largest) fish of the day soon followed, so richly colored that if I hadn't known any better, I would have said it was a wild fish from an East Tennessee freestone stream. Sometimes the biggest fish aren't the best...


The rest of the day continued much better than the first part. It seemed like many of the fish in the river were feeding on scuds. In the deep runs, you could see the flashing of light off the sides of fish as they fed right on the bottom. After getting tired of fishing the upper river, we headed down and caught up with the generation pulse were the water was still falling out. Fish were up in the shallows over weed beds once again feeding heavily, and this time we did well with quite a few browns coming to hand. None were huge but all were healthy fish that fought well, often putting on acrobatic aerial displays. A few fish even took the dry that was serving as an indicator so all in all it was a nice day.

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