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, September 11, 2008

Colorado Sampler Part 2


Now that everyone has probably forgotten all about my glorious trip (yes I am gloating), I'm going to bring it back up. I promised some more stories from Colorado so here's part 2. Recall that our first stop was at the Taylor River and while we caught fish, things were not quite as good as last year. Last year there was one river we didn't get to fish. I was quite disappointed because the Gunnison is probably one of my favorites. This made up for last year and then some.

Our first day on the Gunnison consisted largely of moving and setting up camp, but in the evening we got in a few hours of fishing. We made our way downriver from the campground as the shadows crept up the towering canyon walls. When we started fishing, it took a little time to get things figured out, but it was worth the effort.

We were camping at East Portal which is as far upriver as you can go in the Black Canyon National Park and the only place in the park where you can drive to the river. The fishing here is generally considered technical with small midge patterns accounting for a lot of the success. As you go downriver, hopper/dropper rigs begin to work better. The river has a large biomass which supports one of the designated Gold Medal waters in the state of Colorado. Rainbows and browns grow quickly and average an honest 16-17" at least in the East Portal area. Finding the fish is easy since the large fish often feed high in the water column and in the riffles in only 18-24" of water. Figuring out what they are eating can be a little more tricky.

I started out fishing a Copper John that has produced well on the Gunnison in years past. The fish didn't seem particularly impressed though and I started thinking about trying something else. Fate decided to intervene on our behalf and my fly snagged the bottom of the river bringing up a large clump of weeds. Instead of throwing the mess away in disgust, I did a quick bug check in the mass of green. Our problem became obvious since there were a ton of tiny midge larva throughout the weeds and not much else.

A hurried check of the fly boxes turned up some of east Tennessee guide Hugh Hartsell's blackfly larva pattern in black and brown. With just a little surgery to cut off the poly yarn sticking off the front, I soon had a decent larva pattern and was into fish right away. Several fish later in just a matter of a few minutes had us both convinced that we didn't have nearly enough larva patterns.


I stuck 2 or 3 large fish and even saw one before it ran into the heavy current that would have approached 24". All the fish I brought to hand were in the 16-18" range and interesting were mainly browns. That's the perfect size for having a lot of fun if you ask me and I was having a blast. Unfortunately our small supply of midges was quickly drying up so we planned on a quick trip to town for more tying supplies. I only had 2 colors of the proper material for these magical larva and wanted a better match. The next day would prove the flies capabilities even further...


1 comment:

  1. David,
    Sweet, looking forward to the third installment.

    Travis

    ReplyDelete

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