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

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Foolish Fish


April Fools should obviously be spent playing a joke on someone or fooling them in some way. I decided that the best way to spend the day would be fooling some fish. Besides, I've been missing the Park a lot lately so I headed up towards Townsend.

After a stop at Little River Outfitters, I was soon on my way into the park to see how the fish were doing. My goal for the spring is to catch a big brown. I didn't get off to a great start yesterday in that category but had fun nevertheless. Oddly, I never even saw any large fish which is unusual, even when I stopped at the pool where I ALWAYS see a big fish or two.

Other than the lack of big fish (at least to my limited searching abilities), it was a beautiful day in the park. The fish were acting a bit strange and not rising as much as I thought they should. Still, I was able to catch a few on a dry fly for the first time in awhile up there. Sadly, the dry fly action has supposedly been awesome recently but it was a little off for me yesterday, not to mention the fact that I needed to shake the rust off of my reflexes. Those wild fish are just a completely different ballgame than what I've fished for over the winter.


The low point of the day for me was watching a nice brown of 13-14 inches take my dropper (a softhackle at that point of the day), and I didn't set the hook in time...only fast enough to feel a brief resistance as the hook pulled free. I even got the fish interested twice more but couldn't get it to commit again. The day had high points as well including a nice rainbow that was a bit larger than the other small fish I was catching. All the rainbows were extremely colorful...


The interesting discovery I made was that the drought really seems to have been good for the browns. I was catching a lot more browns and in places that have always held rainbows in the past. Hopefully we'll see more quality browns for the next couple of years as a benefit of the otherwise bad drought we experienced but time will only tell. Overall I had a great day and can't wait to go again, hopefully in another week or so...

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