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 16, 2009

2008 Year in Review: The Early Months

For the sake of this post, I'm considering the early months of 2008 to be January through March. The year held many interesting firsts for me and the early months had several big ones. I got the year started in January and enjoyed one of my best days on the Caney of 2008 on what turned out to be the coldest day that I spent fishing for the year.

The temperature never got out of the low 20s meaning that I fought ice in my guides and reel all day. Despite the cold, the day was memorable because the fish were feeding heavily on the midges that were having a hard time flying off. It was so cold that as soon as they emerged onto the surface, they couldn't fly away. The fishing was leisurely and enjoyable and I even managed to stay warm.

In February I chased lake-run fish for the first time and also started targeting some warm water species such as white and yellow bass. The lake-run experiment was spotty but I did find some nice fish.

The fishing below Chickamauga dam was an absolute blast and for the first time in awhile I found myself enjoying fishing for something other than trout. The white bass and hybrids really fight well, often bulldogging with strong head shakes. The shad kill in the Chickamauga tailwater was good and the fish would happily take just about anything white. On one of my excursions I hooked and landed my first freshwater drum. It was very heavy in the strong current but didn't fight particularly well for its size.


As March rolled around, the trips to Chickamauga continued along with an increase in the frequency of my trips to the Hiwassee River. The fish were generally feeding well and the spring of 2008 was a good one on this amazing tailwater.

Below I'm putting a couple more pictures from the early months of 2008. Hopefully I'll get around to spring and early summer of the year soon. Until then, remember to stop by Little River Outfitters on Sunday afternoon if you're in the area. Hope to see you there...

3 comments:

  1. Very Nice David

    One day I hope to hit the Hiawassee again and I will have to hit you up on some info. I haven't been in about 10 years. I would love to get back soon.

    When do you think is the best time to go? I don't have a drift boat so I would have to wade. I have always been hesitant to set a trip b/c of the generating schedule. I don't completely understand it.

    Thanks for the pictures and I look forward to seeing more.

    Chris

    ReplyDelete
  2. In my opinion Spring is the best time to be on the Hiwassee. March and April, especially early April are best. The crowds start coming out in earnest as it warms up so late April into May is often a zoo... The generation schedule can be tricky...basically if its raining a lot, they'll be generating a lot. In another month or so should see some favorable generation schedules if we don't get abnormally high amounts of rain between now and then... Best way to do a trip is to stay flexible and be able to leave somewhat at the last minute. The fishing is good when they pulse a generator ever 3-4 hours. The push of water gets the bugs hatching really well...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks David...I will try to get up that way late May Early April. Two kids under 3 years old kills any kind of flexibility!! ha

    One of the main reason I build rods is to just stay connected to it.

    Thanks again,
    Chris

    ReplyDelete

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