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 14, 2008

Nasty Weather


This weekend brought more much needed rain to the Great Smoky Mountains. Yesterday I awoke to the sound of rain drumming on the roof and knew it would be a good day to go fishing. After a leisurely morning I finally made it out onto the stream by early afternoon expecting to find the water stained from all the rain. Instead the streams were in great shape with very little color in the water. Unfortunately the sun had come out by the time I started fishing so I didn’t expect too much out of the day. Surprisingly, the first place I stopped at provided some consistent fishing, much better than I thought it was going to be in fact. The best fish at this first location was a 10 inch rainbow that put a good bend in the 4 wt. The top producer early on was a soft hackle Isonychia pattern I tie although a Prince or similar nymph would have worked well also.


After fishing all the way through the section I was on, I decided to head farther upriver to see what was happening. I eventually ended up hiking up Little River above Elkmont and found some more good fish including a 13 inch brown that I caught as a storm was pounding the Little River watershed. Despite the rain coming down and occasional flash of lightning, I still managed a quick picture before watching the fish swim away.


With the storm continuing it seemed like a good time to turn around and head for the car. Soon the rain increased to the point where the trail was as much a stream as the one it followed. There were several nice runs in the trail that almost appeared to be fishable. I avoided the temptation to try and catch a trail trout, and kept hustling back to the dry car. Soon I emerged from the dripping woods bearing a strong resemblance to a drowned rat. Thankfully there wasn’t anyone around the trailhead to laugh at my bedraggled appearance.

As I head into another week, its time to start deciding what to do next weekend. I’ve been wanting to do a backcountry trip before the summer is over and this would seem to be the best weekend. On the other hand it would be nice to try the Caney again. Anyone have any suggestions?

4 comments:

  1. David,
    How 'bout heading over to the Clinch with me on Saturday morning? Shoot me an email if you are interested.

    Travis

    ReplyDelete
  2. Travis, I think it will have to be another weekend but I do want to come over and fish it with you sometime soon. You'll have to show me how to catch those big browns...

    ReplyDelete
  3. It is commonly described as L-U-C-K. But I really have had great success there this year. Just let me know sometime.

    ReplyDelete
  4. David - you need to come into town and inspect some of these carp with me. It'll give us some practice for the pigs in CO

    travis - If you ever want a partner for the clinch let me know. I live in powell and with gas prices, plan to start fishing there more instead of driving all over creation. ttas67@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete

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