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

Friday, March 07, 2008

Tough Days

Days where you seem to catch fish every cast are a lot of fun albeit unrealistic. Yes, it usually takes at least some type of skill to have great days even when the fish are "on." However, it is the slow days that really show you where you are at. March has started out tough for me. On Monday, the 3rd, I took a quick trip to the Smokies.

I had a tough time bringing a couple of fish to hand on nymphs. One of my problems seems to have been that I fished Abrams creek for awhile in the afternoon. It probably would have been better to stick to Little River. The water I covered on Abrams apparently had already been fished through earlier in the day (which I naturally didn't find out until after the fact) which made things very tough. Then again, it just seemed like one of those days where things aren't working well for me.

It happened again yesterday. A buddy and I went up to Upper East Tennessee to fish the South Holston and Watauga. Unfortunately, both rivers were still suffering the effects of the recent heavy rains and where anywhere from stained to muddy depending on where you were fishing in relation to the dams. On the South Holston, the fish were feeding heavily but it didn't seem to make any difference. I only managed a couple fish over the course of the day, a small 'bow and a small brown.

Knowledge and observation is the key to succeeding on the water. Both of my recent fishing trips I was lacking in both categories. Unfortunately, it was more in the knowledge than the observation. If I had brought the appropriate fly patterns, I believe that I could have been catching plenty of fish on the SoHo. Blackflies were hatching in large numbers and at least one riffle had good numbers of rusty spinners hovering over it but not many fish were in that particular water. The blackflies were my main trouble. I had some good larva patterns and they produced several takes throughout the afternoon but I was having trouble hooking up. Late in the day, I believe the fish switched mainly to taking the adults and this is where my troubles began. No patterns equals no fish. It was fairly obvious what was hatching and what the fish wanted but I didn't have anything even close to a good match. That won't happen again. Next time I'll have some appropriate patterns ready and the fish will be more willing. Until then, I'll be at the vise getting ready...

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