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, June 25, 2008

Current Park Fishing


The fishing in the park has slowed down just a bit although you can still catch plenty of fish. The water is getting extremely low and after last year we are all a bit worried to say the least. If we don’t start getting rain really soon, this summer could actually be worse than last summer. The fish are still hungry so the fishing is at least decent.

This past weekend I headed up high above Elkmont to Fish Camp Prong and did very well. The water is still plenty cool up high and the fish are relatively stupid. The downside is the long hike to get there and also the fact that the fish aren’t quite as large as their relatives downstream.

Last night I fished above Elkmont and did alright. The fish are starting to get used to seeing all the yellow stonefly imitations out there so don’t be afraid to simplify the game. A small light colored parachute in about a #14-#16 will often catch fish when a stonefly dry will only draw mild interest. I’ve been having good success with a light cahill parachute I tie but anything similar should catch a few. Also don’t forget the terrestrials. Yesterday a customer came into Little River Outfitters and while chatting about he fishing, he told me that he hadn’t been able to catch many fish in the morning but finally tied on a green weenie and started doing well. Ants and beetles will work as well and are often overlooked by many anglers. The large golden stoneflies are showing up in the Elkmont vicinity on Little River now and fishing a nymph imitation might get a large brown to eat.

The biggest key to having success right now is to be very sneaky. Despite catching good numbers of fish lately, I’m still spooking a lot of trout. Be sure and hit all the small pockets close by the better pools because there will often be fish from the pool feeding up in the faster water.

Finally, if it rains, GO FISHING!!! Some of my better days in the park have been the day after a really good summer thunderstorm…

2 comments:

  1. ijsouth12:00 AM

    I think things will start to get a bit better next week. It has been relatively dry down here this month, too, but lately the storms have started to fire up every afternoon. Hopefully, the Atlantic ridge will break down a bit, and some of that Gulf moisture will work its way up to the mountains. We'll be up there next week.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ijsouth, things are looking up for this weekend but I'm still concerned. We keep getting a deep trough setting up to our northeast leaving us in a (relatively) dry northwest flow...hopefully that moist gulf air will start working up this way...

    ReplyDelete

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