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, December 13, 2008

Fluoro For Bigger Fish

Our most recent poll closed a couple of days ago and the results surprised me a bit. I honestly did not expect to discover that nearly a third of you use fluorocarbon tippet for all your fishing. Well over half are using it for at least some of your fishing while just over one quarter of you don't use it at all.
It took me a long time to start using it and lately I've been using it more and more. Two summers ago I started using it when a buddy recommended I get some for the Frying Pan River in Colorado. My first spool was Seaguar Grand Max in 6X andit is still the best I've ever used although quite expensive. The beauty of using Fluorocarbon is that it supposedly is harder to see underwater compared to standard monofilament. Even better, it is stronger than comparable mono. Lately I've switched over to the Rio Fluoroflex Plus which is almost as good as the Seaguar. It is also a little cheaper which is good for the money starved trout bum. Cheaper here is relative and a good spool of fluorocarbon tippet will generally set you back $10 more than a comparable spool of mono tippet.

So now the big question, is it really worth it? After catching lots of large trout over the last two years, I'm really becoming a believer in the stuff. I've lost an unbelievable number of good fish due to the 6X monofilament breaking but have yet to break off a good fish on fluorocarbon tippet. A few weeks ago, I fought a monster brown on the Caney for several minutes before losing it. The line just went limp and I was sure it had broke off. Reeling in I discovered that the large fish had just straightened the #14 hook. A fish large enough to straighten a #14 hook is a big fish but it did not break the 6X tippet. On the initial run the fish headed straight for a large log and I was forced to apply a lot of pressure. With monofilament I have no doubt that I would have broke the fish off. So again, I ask, is it worth it?
Here's a few reasons I think it is...




3 comments:

  1. I've had a few bigguns bend hooks before breaking my 6x fluoro, so I can relate. I keep telling myself "don't horse 'em" but sometimes I forget to listen.

    ReplyDelete
  2. agreed. I've had a few bigguns bend the hook too--- but mostly just trees. I usually get my fly back when snagged on the bottom with can save a lot of re-rigging time... but aye, it's painful to purchase the stuff!

    God Bless.

    --Brian J.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I feel your pain man, I've had the ol' straighten the hook out trick done by a few monster Davidson River Browns. I was dead drifting a Red Fox Squirrel Nymph, I saw my indicator duck below the surface, I set the hook, trout bent the hook, trout then snapped the 6x and took off upstream. Sigh....I guess that's why Winter's for fly tying, so we can stock up on those lost flies....

    ReplyDelete

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