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 Year in Review: Just Gets Better


Currently I'm setting at 20 days without wetting a line and I'm really starting to have some withdrawals. Last weekend wasn't too bad since I did get to spend Sunday tying at Little River Outfitters which is probably the next best thing to going fishing. However, the lack of fishing is really starting to hurt so I felt like it was a good time to continue my 2008 Year in Review posts. As the early months gave way to the warmer weather of spring, the fishing just kept improving.


Early on, I focused largely on the Tennessee River, especially just below Chickamauga dam where the fishing was often exceptional for white bass and hybrids. As the weather warmed, the skipjack started running and provided a lot of fun on the fly rod. These fish are called Tennessee Tarpon for a reason and absolutely go crazy when hooked.




The other big moment below Chickamauga came when I caught my first ever double on the fly. Hopefully I'll do it with trout this year but until then, its hard to beat these two nice fish.


I also took several trips to the Smokies including a great one on April Fool's. It turned out that the fish were the foolish ones and I managed several beautiful wild rainbows.


In May, things went from good to great when I received a phone call from Little River Outfitters in Townsend inquiring whether I would be interested in working for them over the summer. I would have been crazy to say no and before I knew it I was busy at an awesome summer job (as long as I overlook Wapsi Hell that is). The best thing about this was that I could fish every evening in the Smokies if I wanted which I generally did.

Another big first occurred when I caught my first Caney Fork slam of a rainbow, brown, and brook trout. TWRA began stocking brookies on the Caney this past year and so far the results are promising. I'm willing to bet that we start seeing some 16-18" brook trout this next year. The Caney Fork has a lot of food available for the trout and the fish in that river grow very quickly. By fall of 2008 a few brookies were already pushing 13-14" so 2009 should be epic.




The big story in the Smokies that became apparent by early summer was that the ongoing drought had not given up yet. The streams were frighteningly low by June although we did see a few rounds of thunderstorms over the summer which helped a bit.

2 comments:

  1. Great stuff David...looks like you had a GREAT year in terms of fishing...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dave- Check out my blog and see my two trout/two fly picture. www.smokymountaintrout.blogspot.com

    I had a great year. Caught more trout than any other! I almost exclusively used a BHPT nymph under a Yellow Sally. Road Prong was terrific in the spring but later on in the summer I left it alone since there was no water.

    Jeff Wadley
    Maryville

    ReplyDelete

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