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

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Smokies Camping Trip


Each fall I try to make at least one camping trip somewhere in the mountains. Here in Tennessee that means I almost always head for the Smokies. The year I was in Arizona gave me the opportunity to visit the White Mountains where you can fish with a backdrop of golden aspen while listening to the elk bugling in the distance. No matter where I am though, the theme of visiting mountains stays the same. This year I made the trip to the Smokies for my annual trip.

The plan was to camp out Smokemont Campground which I had never stayed at before. Now that I've been there, I have to admit that I like Elkmont better but that might just be because the Little River watershed is really my home waters. The North Carolina side of the park has plenty of great water to fish including one of my park favorites, Deep Creek. Other than Little River, Deep Creek would have to be my favorite for several reasons including the excellent population of brown trout and also it receives less pressure than Little River once you get into the backcountry.

While camping at Smokemont, I enjoyed fishing Deep Creek, a small blueline that will remain nameless, and Straight Fork. The fishing at Deep Creek was a bit more crowded than usual which was surprising but I still managed to catch a nice little brown to go along with some small rainbows. While over there we also took in some of the area scenery including the Indian Creek falls.

On Saturday, we decided to do some hiking to enjoy the great fall colors. We also wanted a hike with a view so that meant a trip up to the top of the ridge where we decided to hike to Andrews Bald. I have been wanting to hike to one of the balds for some time now. This was the first time that I've visited one and the scenery was fantastic.



Straight Fork was a blast to fish. I've always enjoyed fishing it and am always surprised at how well it fishes despite the easy roadside access for several miles. By this time the rest of our group had left to head back to Chattanooga so I enjoyed a couple of hours of solo fishing. The fish rose steadily to my October Caddis pattern which I tied on after seeing some giant caddis flying around. I even managed a couple rainbows that were larger than the normal park average by a couple of inches.




Overall it was a great camping trip with the main downside being the low water that is still affecting our area. On the bright side, the continued drought has kept generation on the tailwaters to a minimum meaning that fishing opportunities there are maximized. Tomorrow I'm going to take advantage of that and go looking for some more monsters somewhere. Next weekend I'm starting to think about another trip for monster fish so stay tuned for more...

4 comments:

  1. Great report, and nice pics as usual. I have been wanting to try that hike for awhile now.

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  2. im just glad the berries worked out for us

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  3. ijsouth11:11 PM

    Isn't Straight Fork a great stream? We've spent a lot of time around (and upstream of) that bridge.

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  4. Wow.... fishing, I just love it. I found Bass Pro Shops to be a lovely store for buying fishing & camping gears.

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