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

Sunday, September 21, 2008

School Is Now In Session


Student teaching has been going well so far with my one complaint involving how ridiculously early schools start these days. Despite enjoying being in the classroom, I still enjoy my weekends and would not want to spend them at school. The exception to this is when I decide to school some fish.

This weekend was a blur of driving, visiting friends and family, cutting down a couple trees, and just when I thought that was enough, I decided that I better throw in some fishing. Spending the weekend at Nashville has advantages and disadvantages. The main disadvantage being that it is a bit farther then I really like to drive on a weekend but that mainly stems from pure laziness. The most obvious advantage is that I can swing by the Caney Fork on the way back to Chattanooga and only be going slightly out of my way.

I arrived on the stream somewhere around 2:00 pm Central time and quickly got into some brookies. Quickly growing tired of these easy targets, I decided to take the game into some technical slow moving water where nice browns like to sit and feed just above the lush weedbeds. My Legend Ultra 7'6" 3 weight was the perfect tool for stalking these wary fish, and in the end they proved to be no match for the deadly zebra midge. I caught several nice browns to about 15" or 16". Strangely all were females and as fat as they were, I strongly suspect they are full of eggs or at least getting there as the spawn is most likely just around the corner.


Several of the fish buried themselves in the thick weeds on the bottom of the river and it was only through a lot of effort that I wrestled them back up and to the surface. As a side note, I am extremely impressed with Rio Fluoroflex Plus tippet material. It is cheaper than the Seaguar Grand Max that I like so much and is also exceptionally strong. I didn't lose a single fish today and I believe that a lot of that is because of the quality of the tippet.


Days like this are fun, because for every day where I catch plenty, there are lots of other days where I work hard for just a handful of fish at best. Eventually all good things must come to an end. I had to hit the road on towards Chattanooga, but it had been a great day! Next weekend may include some more adventures. This time of year I really like to go camping so I may try to do that. Of course, some fishing is a given and it will most likely be an east Tennessee freestone stream in the mountains...

2 comments:

  1. Wow, nice view of the belly in that second shot. Getting me pumped about what is just around the corner. I am taking my son to the mountains this weekend for his first visit and some photos, maybe I will see you up there.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Travis, I've been dying to get back up there. I can't believe I've waited so long. If I don't make it to the park, I'll probably at least try to make it as far as Tellico... Hope you have an enjoyable trip this weekend and maybe I'll run into you somewhere...

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