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

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Finally Went Fishing

January will likely be the month with the fewest days on the water in a long time. This whole "becoming responsible and getting a real job" thing is really hard on the fishing time. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy what I'm doing but not fishing is tough. Next month should be better though as most weekends will allow an opportunity to fish and I also have a few days off one week early in the month. Today was the first time I got out on the water, at least to fish, since January 3. Those of you that read this blog or know me at all realize that this is a long time without a fishing trip.


In many ways, my fishing trip today was one of the best in awhile. The small things that I often overlook really made the day. Each rainbow trout that graced the end of my line for a few moments fought hard, putting a nice bend in the 3 weight rod I was fishing. Watching the line form nice tight loops was a lot more enjoyable than I normally give it credit for and reminded me how the artistic aspect of the sport is really what got me into fly fishing in the first place.


When the short trip of around 30 minutes was complete, I had caught 4 little rainbows. All fish hammered a #16 black Simi Seal leech with a beadhead that I fished very slowly stripped in the current of the stream. The water was icy cold and my hands felt like they were being pricked by needles every time I dipped them in prior to handling a fish.


I goofed around a little and got some ridiculous "hero" shots with the small fish including the classic but rather cheesy "rod in mouth" picture. Overall it was a fun trip. By next weekend the Caney might be fishable and if so, I'll be there seeing how the fish have handled all the high water lately.


Also, later this week, I may have to head to Chattanooga one day and if so, I might check out my old haunts along the Tennessee river. Shad should be coming through Chickamauga and Watts Bar dams creating a feeding frenzy for the resident fish below. As always, stay tuned for more as it develops...

3 comments:

  1. Nice stuff David!

    I am hoping to build a 3wt soon to go after some of the fish in the smaller streams.

    Thanks,
    Chris

    ReplyDelete
  2. Chris,

    A 3 wt is a blast but still has enough backbone to land larger fish. I'll occasionally fish mine on the Caney Fork and catching a 16 inch brown or rainbow on that rod is about as much fun as one can have with a fly rod in my opinion...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey man, if you think a job is hard on your fishing time, just wait till you get married. The job's still the number 1 fishing time killer, but suddenly you find "real-life" responsibilities eating into your weekends, too. I've got my wife fly fishing a little, but to her it'll always just be something fun to do on occasion, not a lifestyle. Too bad we can't make a living blogging about fly fishing, huh? Take care,

    Nathan

    ReplyDelete

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