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

Monday, January 05, 2009

More Drought Bustin' Rain

Just when the Caney has had a few very short windows without generation, it looks like we will be getting a lot more rain. If the current forecast holds true (does it ever though?), the Caney could be generating until February. Of course I can't be complaining because all the rain does have a silver lining. First, the fish in the river will be relatively untouched as long as the generation remains heavy. In other words, when they finally quit generating for awhile, head for the river as soon as possible. Second, it looks like we are just about out of the drought conditions so bring on the rain!

Below are two versions of the U.S. Drought Monitor. The first is the one issued on September 2, 2008 and the second is the last one for 2008 from December 30. Compare the area affected by drought in the southeast and the severity of the drought in the two pictures. Clearly things are looking better...just don't get too excited about fishing tailwaters anytime soon...




Currently the National Weather Service in Nashville has issued a Flood Watch for a large portion of middle Tennessee. The portion of the Watch that caught my eye said the following:


RUNOFF FROM THIS RAINFALL COULD POSSIBLY LEAD TO FLOODING OF AREA CREEKS AND STREAMS ON TUESDAY...WITH FLOODING OF LARGER RIVERS BY TUESDAY NIGHT. THIS INCLUDES RIVERS AND TRIBUTARIES IN THE DUCK...ELK...BUFFALO...STONES...CANEY FORK...AND HARPETH RIVER BASINS...AND OTHERS THAT DRAIN INTO THE CUMBERLAND AND TENNESSEE RIVERS.

Yep, they called out the Caney by name so I'm guessing that there isn't much hope to fish it any time soon... This might be the winter of Smoky Mountain trout fishing...

5 comments:

  1. I'm with you...Us fly fisherman need some water to fish in. I'm glad this storm system is going to help out. Mets say 1-2 inches locally 3 in a few spots in the mountains. I say put the pair of Simms on and go fishing.

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  2. Bring on the rain. Another good thing about pulling water for a long time is that once you do get to the water, the fish seem to be that much stronger....Of course it may just be perception.

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  3. Travis, I agree about the fish seeming stronger after the flows have been up for awhile. I've had more 16-18 inch rainbows take me to the cleaners on the Caney after they have run for a few months for sure...talk about pulling like a freight train!!!

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  4. Man, Nevada doesn't look to have changed very much... ah well maybe we'll get an uber snow year.

    Can't wait to come catch fish in the Smokies... someday.

    Love coming here knowing you'll have posted something interesting! Keep up the awesome blog-work!

    God Bless

    --Brian J.

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  5. Brian, thanks for the kind words. I'm glad you stop by and check out my blog...

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