Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 11/1/2018

Fishing is good in the Smokies and other mountain streams if you can catch it on a day where the wind is minimal. Otherwise, expect lots of leaves in the water for the next few days. Delayed harvest streams are also being stocked and fishing well in east Tennessee and western North Carolina.

In the Smokies, fall bugs are in full swing. We have been seeing blue-winged olives almost daily although they will hatch best on foul weather days. They are small, typically running anywhere from #20-#24 although a few larger ones have also shown up. A few October Caddis are still around as well. Terrestrials are close to being done for the year although we are still seeing a few bees and hornets near the stream. Isonychia nymphs, caddis pupa, and BWO nymphs will get it done for your subsurface fishing. Have some October Caddis (#12) and parachute BWO patterns (#18-#22) for dry flies and you should be set. Not interested in matching the hatch? Then fish a Pheasant Tail nymph under a #14 Parachute Adams. That rig can catch fish year round in the Smokies.

Brook and brown trout are now moving into the open to spawn. During this time of year, please be extremely cautious about wading through gravel riffles and the tailouts of pools. If you step on the redd (nest), you will crush the eggs that comprise the next generation of fish. Please avoid fishing to actively spawning fish and let them do their thing in peace.

Our tailwaters are still cranking although the Caney is finally starting to come down. I'm still hoping to get a firsthand report on the Caney Fork soon although it might be sometime next week or the week after before that happens at the earliest. Stay tuned for more on that. Fishing will still be slow overall with limited numbers of fish in that particular river unfortunately.

The Clinch is featuring high water as they try to catch up on the fall draw down. All of the recent rainfall set them back in this process but flows are now going up to try and make up some of the time lost. It is still fishing reasonably well on high water although we prefer the low water of late fall and early winter as it is one of our favorite times to be on the river.

Smallmouth are about done for the year with the cooler weather we are now experiencing. I caught a few yesterday on the Tennessee River while fishing with guide Rob Fightmaster, but overall the best bite is all but over. Our thoughts will be turning to musky soon, however. Once we are done with guide trips for the year, we'll be spending more time chasing these monsters.

In the meantime, we still have a few open dates in November. Feel free to get in touch with me if you are interested in a guided trip. Thanks!

Photo of the Month: Fishing in Paradise

Photo of the Month: Fishing in Paradise

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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