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 02, 2009

First Trip of the Year

The first trip of 2009 is now complete. Originally I had planned to try and make it to the South Holston River yet again but today it didn't work out. Fate conspired against me and in the end I headed over to the local state park to try for the recently stocked trout. Overcast skies promised a decent opportunity to catch some fish.

When I arrived at the lake, I took my time rigging up. My old leader was badly in need of a replacement so I got out a new one to start 2009. One of my favorite flies for catching stocked trout in stillwaters is the Simi Seal Leech. I tied on a beadhead version in black and red and wandered down towards the water.

Normally there is a good bit of surface activity on this particular lake but today it was dead. Below the lake is a creek that provides a change of pace and I decided to start there. After 15 minutes of beating the water I begin to suspect that maybe none of the fish had come over the dam. Just when I really was ready to try another spot I got a hard bump. Refocusing, I enjoyed the swish of the line through the guides while shooting line to put my fly on the other side of the creek.

After several casts and a few more bumps I began to get tired of continually missing fish. A deep spot downstream caught my eye and I moved towards a logjam that had a bunch of foam piled in front. My first cast produced an explosive strike which made me wonder if there were larger than normal fish in here. After several more casts I finally hooked up with a trout that had an attitude. Guiding it in close to the bank, I soon released the first fish of 2009!


Four fish later, I called it a day, glad to have enjoyed a couple of hours on the water. The Simi Seal Leech accounted for all 5 fish and most took it hard in a convincing manner. While not the South Holston, it was a pleasant alternative to the three hour drive. There's always another time for large fish. The Caney is starting to provide a few opportunities for wading if you pick your time carefully. Of course I'll be floating it and throwing streamers sometime soon as well. The next few months provide some outstanding fishing for those willing to brave the cold...

1 comment:

  1. hey want to say thanks for the great pictures and columns! glad i was able to find your blog. kept me intertained, and also thinking about fat eastern tail water browns! cant wait to get out there. also i most definetly am using those feathers plus some elk hair from my dads hunt this year. i got a lifes suply of hair! great for caddis and stimulaters. keep doing a good job! i realy enjoy having some thing to read weekly.

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