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

Going to Yellowstone Next Summer?

Winter is the time to dream about the trips you took over the course of the previous year. It is also time to plan the trips for the upcoming warm months. Last summer I travelled to Colorado again and while I had a great trip, it just wasn't the same as Yellowstone. For the last couple of months I've been dreaming about fishing Yellowstone for awhile next summer. Early season on the Firehole is a great time and while Tennessee bakes in 90 degree heat, you can be happily fishing during a PMD or BWO hatch in 50 or 60 degree weather. There are several lakes that I really want to visit again including some that hold grayling. The question now is, will I actually be able to safely visit Yellowstone?

Over the last week, many small earthquakes have been shaking the Park. While not unusual for such a geologically active location normally, the recent earthquakes have been a bit out of the ordinary due to their frequency. There is one possible good that may result from the tremors but this is just a strictly uneducated guess. As I understand it, the Firehole River did not always warm up as much during the summer. Back in the 1970s, a particularly active period geologically caused some of the hot springs to begin pouring even more warm water into the river. Now it would be great to have the opposite happen. If the current tremors could shake things around so not as much warm water is running off into the Firehole, it might help the fish survive through the long hot summers in better shape. Now that I've said that the opposite will probably happen but let's hope not...

Anyway, for those that are interested, you can find more on this story here...

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