Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 10/17/2018

Fishing continues to be good to excellent in the Great Smoky Mountains of east Tennessee. 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 Yellow Quills are still hanging on in the mid to high elevation brook trout water although not for long. October caddis (more properly, great autumn sedges) are hatching in good numbers now on the North Carolina side of the Park and just starting on the Tennessee side. Terrestrials still have a place in your fly box as well although they are definitely winding down for the year. 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. Brook trout are still eating smaller yellow dry flies as well. 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 hoping to get some type of a report for there soon. 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 are holding off for 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. 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 and one or two in October. 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

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Whack a Rainbow, Save a Brookie


This past weekend I stopped by a small brook trout stream that I like to fish. For the first time ever I caught several rainbows. An occasional rainbow is to be expected in this particular water, but unfortunately there were a few more than would qualify as “occasional.”

The first real pool I fished was loaded with fish. My first cast to the middle of the pool resulted in a flashing strike. Looking forward to admiring a brook trout, I quickly brought the fish to hand. I was surprised to discover a rainbow on the end of my line. One rainbow in a pool with 6-8 brookies had beat all of them to a supposed item of food. I’ve always heard that the rainbows out-compete the brook trout here in the Smokies streams but that was easily the most obvious instance of this I’ve ever experienced.


I’m starting to wonder if a policy requiring fisherman to kill rainbows in certain stretches of water might not be a bad idea. In Yellowstone National Park you are required to kill all lake trout you catch on Yellowstone Lake. Perhaps something similar might be beneficial to our special brook trout here in the Smokies…

Oh yeah, despite the rainbows, I still caught several brookies

3 comments:

  1. ijsouth11:17 AM

    You wrote: "I’m starting to wonder if a policy requiring fisherman to kill brookies in certain stretches of water might not be a bad idea."

    You meant rainbows, right? It's a point to ponder, for sure. Last November, I was surprised by a few rainbows on Cosby, and pretty high up too - previously, I had never caught anything but brookies from the campground on up. Now for the twist - back in March, my oldest and I caught brookies on Cosby well BELOW the campground...in fact, we weren't very far from the park boundary; I had assumed that there would be nothing but rainbows that low.

    I downloaded a video not long ago, that showed some very large (Canadian) brookies spawning - they were big enough to have kyped jaws...a rainbow kept attacking them, biting the @#@#$#@$ out of the female brookie, in an attempt to get at the eggs. So, it seems to be true that rainbows tend to be more aggressive, and therefore will out-compete brookies if the water is compatible for both...I do know that rainbows cannot tolerate acidic water as well, so that is one barrier to them as you go higher.

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  2. Yeah, that should read "rainbows" :D... I suppose I should proofread these things before publishing... Anyway, I know that rainbows are supposed to not be very tolerant of acidic water but these fish were in a stretch of water known for that very problem. Daniel here at LRO pointed out to me that in that particular stretch of water, the fish are northern strain brookies probably so maybe that is the reason for a seeming lack of official concern... Regardless, I definitely wouldn't be opposed to a "kill the rainbows" requirement on some specific stretches of water...

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