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

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Last Weekend



This summer has flown by and I can’t believe it is almost over. For my last weekend here in Townsend, my cousin and his girlfriend came up to visit. They spent Friday night backpacking above Elkmont and got pounded by the storm that came through early Saturday morning. We had agreed to meet at the trailhead to go sightseeing and/or hiking on Saturday so at the appointed time I drove up to find them soaked but in good spirits. The drenching the park received did wonders for the streams. First on the agenda for the day was a drive up to Clingman's Dome.



We stopped off at Sugarlands and left one of the vehicles there before heading on up the hill. On the way it became apparent just how much rain had fallen. The West Prong of the Little Pigeon River was rolling and the water was stained. Fog still enveloped the highest peaks providing a perfect example of how the park got its name. Shortly after passing the Chimney Tops trailhead I stopped the car and we piled out for a brief photo session.


As you can see, the stream had plenty of water to go around. All the little tributaries pouring off of Mt. Leconte were near bankfull. The clouds had been lifting steadily all morning as the atmosphere slowly warmed but the higher elevations were still socked in. At Clingman's Dome we were treated to something different than what we had come for but still provided some interesting photo opportunities.



The clouds were rolling up over the mountain sometimes cutting visibility to 100 feet or less. On the walk up we found some wildflowers that were just now reaching their peak at this high elevation. At the summit we enjoyed the cool moist air that felt more like fall than summer. After walking back down to the car we decided to drive over to Cataloochee and check out the elk.



Since I have never been through the Cosby and Big Creek area of the park we decided to take the scenic route through that corner of the park. A couple of hours later we rolled into the magnificent Cataloochee Valley and quickly found the animals we were looking for. I even caught a couple of fish and the late afternoon light provided for some interesting pictures.


Nathan Stanaway Photo




By the time we reached Cataloochee we had made half of a loop so the day would not be complete without finishing. We drove around to Maggie Valley and then towards Cherokee. When we reached the top of the ridge between the two towns we caught the Blue Ridge Parkway which took us back into the Park near the Oconaluftee visitor center.



Nathan Stanaway Photo


The drive over the ridge completed the loop and after picking up the second vehicle we headed to my cabin for the night.


Sunday morning was great, mainly because I slept in for awhile and then we had a big breakfast. After my visitors left I went fishing for what will probably be the last time in the Smokies for awhile. I just had to fish a favorite section of Lynn Camp that I still had not fished yet this summer. The fishing was appropriately spectacular with plenty of fish coming to hand in the 2 or so hours I spent on the water, a perfect end to a summer of fishing in the Park.







4 comments:

  1. Great photos. I especially like the one of the church.

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  2. ijsouth11:00 PM

    Nice...glad you had a great summer. We've made that "loop" a number of times - did y'all take the "back way" from Cosby to Cataloochee? That's a fun road, but don't try it with snow on the roadway. We also take that stretch of the BRP all the time out of Maggie Valley, on our way to fish Straight Fork.

    Looks like we're going to have one more Smokies trip, before school starts for the kids, probably in a few weeks.

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  3. dog, the lighting at the church was awesome. The sun was shining through the clouds with a soft warm glow...it didn't turn out as warm as I hoped but not bad...

    ijsouth, we definitely took the back way. The paved portion of that road was worse than the gravel in my opinion. Lots of sharp curves and you just couldn't maintain any speed at all without risking your life. Glad ya'll get another trip in. With the rain we've been getting you should have some decent fishing...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good places for some high stickin' eh? :)

    ReplyDelete

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