Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 10/17/2018

Fishing continues to be good to excellent in the Great Smoky Mountains of east Tennessee. Delayed harvest streams are also being stocked and fishing well in east Tennessee and western North Carolina.

In the Smokies, fall bugs are in full swing. We have been seeing blue-winged olives almost daily although they will hatch best on foul weather days. They are small, typically running anywhere from #20-#24 although a few larger ones have also shown up. A few Yellow Quills are still hanging on in the mid to high elevation brook trout water although not for long. October caddis (more properly, great autumn sedges) are hatching in good numbers now on the North Carolina side of the Park and just starting on the Tennessee side. Terrestrials still have a place in your fly box as well although they are definitely winding down for the year. Isonychia nymphs, caddis pupa, and BWO nymphs will get it done for your subsurface fishing. Have some October Caddis (#12) and parachute BWO patterns (#18-#22) for dry flies and you should be set. Brook trout are still eating smaller yellow dry flies as well. Not interested in matching the hatch? Then fish a Pheasant Tail nymph under a #14 Parachute Adams. That rig can catch fish year round in the Smokies.

Brook and brown trout are now moving into the open to spawn. During this time of year, please be extremely cautious about wading through gravel riffles and the tailouts of pools. If you step on the redd (nest), you will crush the eggs that comprise the next generation of fish. Please avoid fishing to actively spawning fish and let them do their thing in peace.

Our tailwaters are still cranking although the Caney is finally starting to come down. I'm hoping to get some type of a report for there soon. Stay tuned for more on that. Fishing will still be slow overall with limited numbers of fish in that particular river unfortunately.

The Clinch is featuring high water as they try to catch up on the fall draw down. All of the recent rainfall set them back in this process but flows are now going up to try and make up some of the time lost. It is still fishing reasonably well on high water although we are holding off for the low water of late fall and early winter as it is one of our favorite times to be on the river.

Smallmouth are about done for the year with the cooler weather we are now experiencing. Our thoughts will be turning to musky soon, however. Once we are done with guide trips for the year, we'll be spending more time chasing these monsters.

In the meantime, we still have a few open dates in November and one or two in October. Feel free to get in touch with me if you are interested in a guided trip. Thanks!

Photo of the Month: Fishing in Paradise

Photo of the Month: Fishing in Paradise

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Is Spring Here Yet?


Apparently the fish think so. Going fishing on Friday the 13th seems like an invitation for all kinds of bad luck. Expensive rods breaking, monster trout throwing the fly, falling into the ice-cold water of mid February...all these are a distinct possibility when you go fishing on a day traditionally said to bring bad luck. However, my fishing trip yesterday would have made even a cynic believe that there really is no such thing as bad luck.

Early in the trip I started wondering if it was a bad choice to fish on such a day. Little River with it's shot at larger browns was calling to me and I started off fishing somewhere between Metcalf Bottoms and Elkmont. After working slowly up a 2oo yard stretch of water with only one missed strike to show for my efforts, I decided to move to a different stretch of water. Again things were slow, although in all honesty it was a very technical stretch. The one fish that I managed to feed picked a most opportune time to eat because my line was tangled around some streamside structure and the hookset failed miserably.

After taking a few moments to ponder the fishing thus far, I decided to move to a more intimate setting. Tremont was the perfect size for the type of fishing I wanted and upon arrival, I decided to go against conventional wisdom and fish a dry. Earlier in the day I had seen plenty of midges and little black stoneflies along with a few small black caddis and early brown stoneflies so a generic #16 parachute Adams seemed appropriate.

I moved down to the water and left my thermometer on the stream bottom while I made the first few casts. Picking a slow eddy in a nice deep pocket, I delicately placed my fly in position to dance tantalizingly in the current, spinning lazily around and around. After what seemed like an eternity, I saw a dark form materialize from the depths and lazily inhale the fly. Without thinking I firmly set the hook and was soon admiring the first rainbow of the day. Wondering if it was a fluke, I checked the stream temperature (43.5 degrees Fahrenheit) and quickly moved up to the next likely pocket. This time I missed a strike. In increasing surprise and excitement I moved up to yet another spot and this time caught another trout. In the next hour, I caught a total of 8 rainbows on dry flies proving that fish still have to eat even at cold water temperatures.


Later on, after moving to another section it was time to try some nymphs. The fish still fed happily on the Tellico and Brassie I was offering although they didn't hit the fly as hard as they would have if it was warmer out. By the end of the day, I had caught 15 fish which goes to show that there are still fish to catch even in the cold months.


One of the amusing things about the fishing trip was the size of the fish. I caught 4-5 fish that were in the 3 inch range. For some reason, at least on this stretch of water, all the smaller fish were out feeding. Maybe they just haven't figured out how to be lazy and conserve energy. I'm really glad I decided to fish the Smokies because it was a great change of pace from the extremely crowded Caney Fork that I've been experiencing lately. While I enjoy catching large fish, it was just as rewarding to be out catching 3-7 inch rainbows as it has been to fish the Caney lately. That said, I'm still excited to get out on the river tomorrow and hopefully will have some good stories by tomorrow evening!
Of course, spring isn't really here yet but I'm excited about the approach of the warmer months with their important hatches bringing up some nice fish to dry flies. I'm in the early planning stages of some great trips for the upcoming spring including some backpacking trips to prime water in the Smokies... As always, stay tuned for more info...

2 comments:

  1. I'm very ready for Spring to get here soon!

    Troutdawg
    Flyfishaddiction

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love fly fishing in the spring.

    ReplyDelete

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