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

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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