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

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Trout!!!


Spring break was the last time I fished for trout and that was almost a month ago now. This was a problem that needed to be corrected so I finally made it up to the Hiwassee. The river should be turning on really well with big hatches of Hendricksons and a few BWOs along with the usual caddis and I wanted to see how things were coming. The desire to fish dry flies was strong, so strong in fact that when I arrived and only saw a few stray bugs, I tied on a Neversink Caddis in dark brown with a caddis-olive softhackle as a dropper.

The first few casts gave me a rise to the softhackle, but after several more I knew that the fish wouldn't be tearing up the dry. Accordingly, I tied on my early season go-to fly on the Hiwassee, a #16 beadhead black simi seal leech pattern which apparently does a good job imitating all the small dark stonefly nymphs that are active this time of year. This proved to be the ticket and I started hooking fish. Not tearing them up mind you but catching one here and one there at a decent pace.


As the day progressed, I saw a few stray mayflies that looked like they might have been Hendricksons but no large hatch yet. The highlight of the day was catching a fish on the dry. A good hatch of tiny (think #34-#40) yellowish midges was in progress and the fish were taking pupa just under the surface. A small midge dropped under a dry seemed like a good option so I tied on the caddis again for the dry. After completing the new rig, I started working the current tongues just above a hole that usually produces a few rainbows. Suddenly, a shadow floated up off the bottom. I fully expected it to reject my fly but it just kept coming. Suddenly it broke the surface as it inhaled the dry fly. A nice smooth hookset later I had a fish on. It wasn't a monster but it sure was fun...


The river is fishing okay right now but that's it. I caught 14 or 15 fish over the course of the day but it could have been much better if the bugs were hatching. One big guy bumped my fly but couldn't find the hook apparently. The fly of the day was the black simi seal pattern and the water was right around 50 degrees. I'm willing to bet that in another 1-2 weeks, the river will be on fire as far as the hatches are concerned. Rainy or at least cloudy days will be best... Be there...

1 comment:

  1. Orvis's new hellgramite articulated pattern!!! I say no more!

    ReplyDelete

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