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

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Water!!!

After months of drought, it looks like we might be turning the corner. The last 2 months have featured close to normal rainfall and the most recent precipitation event brought Little River in the Smokies up to its highest level in months. The gauge height chart for Little River shows a significant spike in flow yesterday to over 4 feet.



It isn't often I can say this but I'm glad I wasn't trying to fish there yesterday. Water conditions like that are extremely dangerous for wading. The water is falling fairly fast though and should be quite fishable for the next couple of days before our first serious cold snap arrives and shuts down the fishing. Forecast highs for the middle of the week in the mountains aren't supposed to get out of the 20's so I'll be home tying lots of flies for the upcoming year hopefully.

The weather around the country is cold and bringing lots of precipitation as well. Yellowstone had a tough summer this past year with low water because of the low snowpack. Things are looking much better for next summer with yet another big storm system moving through the northern Rockies. A glance at the national weather map from the National Weather Service shows winter storm warnings, winter weather advisories, and even blizzard warnings for much of the area.


Look for the Rocky Mountain states to fish well next year and possibly even be on a "normal" schedule as far as runoff is concerned. Of course, a lot of factors still have to come together to make that happen, but so far things are looking up. I think its about time for me to start trying to figure out a way to have another Yellowstone trip this next summer...wish me luck!!!

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