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, January 23, 2009

2008 Was a Good Year

Our most recent poll has closed and most people voted that 2008 was a good or great year. A few of you apparently not so lucky readers didn't have a particularly good year but overall the results were positive. One of my favorite responses to that poll came from my buddy Trey who said it was his best year because he learned to fly fish in 2008. Now that's a great year in anybodies book if you ask me.

To me, 2008 was great for several reasons. First, I expanded my horizons and explored some more. I caught several new species on the fly rod and chased the mythical lake run fish on the south side of the Smokies, finally finding a few good fish. One of the major highlights of the year was the opportunity to work at Little River Outfitters which was a dream come true. Talking with customers and helping them have a great time while visiting the Smokies was a lot of fun. It was always gratifying when someone would stop back by to say thank you for the information that led to some nice fish.

The year was also great because the Caney Fork River continues to improve despite enormous fishing pressure. This river has become one of the top rivers in the southeast but unfortunately this has created some serious crowding problems. While it will still fish well this next year, it will probably not be the river of choice for many people, myself included because of the bad crowds. Still, I'll get my fair share of time on that river which will always be my favorite Tennessee tailwater.

If anyone else has anything to share as to why 2008 was a good year (or not), please let me know. In the meantime, I'll be putting up a new poll soon so be sure and cast your vote...you can choose more than one option on the new poll by the way...

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