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

Friday, September 05, 2008

Late Caney Report

Student teaching is keeping me fairly busy. Probably the hardest part is getting up at what to me seems an unearthly hour. I was quite spoiled this summer while working at Little River Outfitters. Since the store didn't open until 9:00 each morning, I didn't have to get up until the sun was clearing the ridge above the cabin I was staying at. Now I'm up well before first light which leaves me tired in the evenings when I should be spending time tying...priorities you know... Anyway, the one good thing about this new schedule is that we actually get holidays off. The prospect of a long weekend sent me home as soon as I could get away last Friday with visions of Caney Fork monsters in my head.

Unfortunately this trip wouldn't turn out to produce another 20 inch plus trout. Still, I can't really complain about a day where I easily lost count of the number of fish brought to hand. The browns and brookies are really starting to color up nicely as we approach fall.




A highlight of the day was spending a bit of time instructing a young man that is fairly new to fly fishing. My buddy had the idea of inviting him along and helping out a bit. Late in the day he had caught several fish including rainbows and brookies but was still looking for that brown to complete the Caney Fork slam.

We were all lined up working a section of bank that sometimes holds large fish. I moved down and told him that we would finish the slam. After just a little instruction he was putting the cast precisely where I asked him to, and within 5 minutes or less we were admiring the third member of his slam for the day. Catching fish is a lot of fun, but helping other people catch fish can often be just as much fun if not more.

The fishing was a little strange last Sunday but not too unusually for a hot late summer day. When we arrived at the river we immediately were into fish. As the sun climbed higher in the sky the fish sought refuge in deeper water right on the bottom. Later on as the sun crept closer to the western horizon, the fish started feeding again. By approximately one hour from sunset, the fishing was just silly. I experimented with several rigs over the course of the day but the old faithful of a dry and Zebra Midge dropper proved to be best. The river continues to be a zoo on the weekends and I really don't recommend fishing it except midweek until the weather cools off a bit. My next fishing target date for the Caney is early October but we'll see if I can actually wait that long. Until then I'll be checking out some wild streams in East Tennessee.

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