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

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Stung!


Despite being in Townsend for close to three weeks at this point, I have been avoiding Elkmont. This was largely because of the firefly mania that has been going on above the campground. With the road no longer closed in the evenings I decided to head up there Wednesday evening and see how the fishing is doing on that stream. The results were excellent despite some pain in the process.


I casually sauntered up the trail above the campground with a certain stretch of water on my mind where I have caught some decent fish before. There is a lot of great dry fly water on this particular piece of water, and I was hoping to get a nice fish on the dry. Arriving at my starting pool, I found a log to sit on that was the perfect height for a seat and proceeded to start preparing to tie on a fly. Very little time elapsed before the bugs started bothering me, at least that was the first thought that went through my head as I felt a bug brush against my arm. Suddenly I felt a searing stinging sensation on my arm and quickly slapped at whatever was causing it. In horror I looked down and saw bees swarming. Two more stings followed in quick succession, another on my arm and one on the side of my neck. Anyone walking along the trail at that point would have seen me leap of the log and sprint for the stream. If the bees followed me with the intent to cause harm, I fully intended to dive into the water. Thankfully it wasn’t necessary as the bees only wanted me away from their nest. Yes, you read that right…I sat ON the nest which was inside the log. The bees were still swarming around the entrance. I briefly considered venturing close enough for a picture but you’ll just have to trust my description of the event and the bees.


After “The Stinging,” I finally moved slowly up the stream fishing various dries including a Neversink Caddis, a Parachute Hare’s Ear, and a Yellow Stimulator all in either a #14 or #16. I even broke off on a decent brown on the hookset but the fish shouldn’t have broke me off based on its size. Since I was fishing an extremely soft rod that should have been forgiving, I’ll blame my leader to tippet knot since the fish was nice but not really that big…

I managed a couple of better than average rainbows, the best of which was camera shy, but I got a picture of the other one. As I already said, the dry fly fishing was awesome. It doesn’t get any better than spending an evening on a mountain stream fishing dries to actively feeding fish… This weekend I’ll be doing something out of the ordinary which will be some type of backcountry trip. Either one of my crazy hardcore day trips or maybe an overnight trip…I guess I should spend a little time with a park map and decide where I’m going…

5 comments:

  1. I would have lost it. Flat out lost it. Bees freak me out.

    Looks like th trip became worth the pain afterall.

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  2. It's the Summer of David (except the pain bit).

    Why not make it a Raven Fork weekend?

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  3. No pain, no gain...right? Nice bow!

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  4. TC, it seems you read my mind. I'm torn between Raven Fork and Upper Deep Creek. Whichever way I decide to go this will just be a long day trip this weekend, but wherever I go will still be remote...

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  5. That sting is a war scar, nice one. Keep'em coming! :)

    ReplyDelete

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