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

Monday, July 21, 2008

Book Review: “The Fly Caster Who Tried to Make Peace with the World”

I finished reading it quite some time ago and finally made the time to write this short review on “The Fly Caster Who Tried to Make Peace with the World,” by Randy Kadish. Originally I intended to read a little each night and finish this book sometime near the end of my time here in the Smokies. The idea behind this being that it would provide some entertainment each night as I enjoy reading nearly as much as I like to fish. In the end the idea proved to be a bad one, mainly because this book held my attention more and more the farther I got. I ended up finishing it in about three evenings of staying up much later than I should have. It was just impossible to set down.

The thing that really struck me about this book was how familiar it all seemed. The leading character, Ian Mac Bride, becomes a fly fisherman because of the beauty of fly casting. I can still remember when I was very young. My family was vacationing in the Smokies and as we drove up through Townsend towards the park, I looked out the window and saw to fly fisherman making picture-perfect casts in the middle of Little River. Young as I was, I knew that someday I would fly fish

The title sums up the theme of the book. Ian uses fly fishing as an escape from the ugliness of the world around him. It was his way of getting away from everything else and enjoying the beauty of nature which soothes the soul. Fly fishing is my way of relaxing. Even when I’m at school and have an important paper or project, a few hours on the water allows me to leave it all behind and forget the stresses of everyday life.

This book is not only about one single character however. Randy Kadish intertwines the lives and stories of some of the leading pioneers in American fly fishing to produce a thoughtful and entertaining story. The title informs the reader of the struggle going on in the leading character with the sometimes ugly world that we all see. However it is often as much a struggle with the world as it is within himself. Fly fishing seems to be as much an escape from himself as from the world around. Ian desires to be the greatest distance fly caster. The book revolves around his journey from beginner to expert caster. Life brings sadness and suffering but also joy. In the end, Ian faces all his disappointment and hurt from the past and enters one last fly casting tournament. This moment is not just a chance to be the best fly caster but almost seems to be the chance to prove himself. Sometimes in life there are things we feel like we have to do even if we don’t know why. Ian Mac Bride had basically given up distance fly casting but in the end felt the need to try one last time to win a distance tournament.

This book was a great read. The only complaint I have was something that bothered me early on but not as much later on in the book. The storyline seemed to jump between two distinctly different plots. The main plot of course was about Ian Mac Bride and the other doesn’t really seem necessary to the book. However, when all was said and done it didn’t really detract from the book.

As I already mentioned, this book is very easy to relate to. The leading character goes through many of the same struggles and experiences many of the same heartaches as the rest of us. Despite the story being set in the early age of American fly fishing many years ago, it still speaks to the reader. If you enjoy a theme of fly fishing woven into fiction then this book is worth checking out.

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