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

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Headwater Streams and the Perfect Fly Store

James Marsh is at it again. In addition to many updates for his sites on fly fishing in the Smokies and Yellowstone, he has started an online store to sell the patterns that are demonstrated in his "Perfect Fly" series on tying. Those that have checked out the DVDs on tying the "Perfect" fly know that he has developed a system of tying that allows one to learn a few basic fly patterns and adapt them to any specific species by just altering the color and size. His new site will allow those that don't tie their own to purchase these patterns for the first time.

In addition to the new store, updates to the "Headwater Streams" portion of his site continue to roll out frequently. The most recent is an interesting one on Enloe Creek. I've never fished this stream but have been close while fishing Raven Fork. This is one of the most beautiful places I've been in the park and the grueling hike up and over a ridge to get there insures that you won't have huge crowds to contend with once you arrive. The hike in makes this a better overnight option although I have done it as a day trip. If you want to look for larger than average brookies, this is one of the better places to try. Beware though that the area is extremely rugged and if you run into trouble you can't count on help any time soon...


A Quiet Pool On Raven Fork

4 comments:

  1. ijsouth10:12 PM

    Over Labor Day weekend, our plans were for my oldest and myself to head up there, specifically to hike into Raven Fork...I figured it would be too much for her younger sisters. Anyway, Gustav had other plans, and our trip for 2 turned into a trip for 5. I had to be content with a few hours fishing each day on Cosby, although if I had to evacuate, it wasn't a bad way to go. I was able to get a few specs around 8 inches or so, so I was happy.

    One thing I don't understand - the road to Straight Fork (and to the trailhead) closes for the year around mid-November...two weeks before my Thanksgiving trip up there. That road, with the exception of one spot, is relatively level; meanwhile, the roller-coaster road into Cataloochee remains open year round. I just don't get it.

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  2. Ijsouth, I've never completely understood the reason for closing that road either but probably it has everything to do with funding... You definitely should give Raven Fork a try sometime but plan for plenty of time to hike up and over the ridge, it isn't for the faint of heart either. The stream above the trail crossing get's progressively easier to navigate for awhile as the gradient eases up a bit. I haven't been too far upstream though. Someday I would love to do a pack trip up the creek into the headwaters. Probably lots of fish up there that have never seen a fly...are they worth they effort? Not so sure about that one...

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  3. Raven Fork is one of the places I haven't fished on any of my trips to the Smokies, but you could say I keep noticing it whenever I look at a map.

    Maybe next year...

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  4. Raven Fork is definitely one of those places that you should try sometime since you enjoy catching brookies so much...they are the predominate species over there. Occasionally a rainbow will be caught but there really aren't many of them at all...

    ReplyDelete

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