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, February 01, 2009

Slow and Windy Day

Today was one of the strangest days I've had on the river in awhile. I can't really complain since it was 60 degrees out and its only February 1. Maybe that was part of the problem. Based on what I saw today, I'm getting close to predicting that this is the year that the Caney finally succumbs to the heavy fishing pressure. There were altogether too many people fishing and it was really quite ridiculous. Miraculously I managed to find plenty of space throughout the day. If things continue this bad, I'll probably be fishing other places once the weather warms. Or maybe I'll have to spend more time exploring the lower river. Whatever I do, I don't think I'll be able to spend much more time in the crowds on the upper river.

Back to the river being a bit strange today, the fish seemed to have a case of lockjaw until you started stripping or swinging the flies. Even then they seemed to hit at very random times. Early in the day, I got into several fish in quick succession on a stripper midge with a gold bead but after that, I had to work for each fish. Considering all of the high water that we have had lately, it may be that the fish are still adjusting to the ever-changing flow schedule. Still, it would be nice to at least see a few better fish... Since no one has been able to fish the river very thoroughly for awhile, I don't believe that all the fish have been taken out so I'll give it a few weeks before getting too concerned. Then again, several stringers of nice fish were leaving the river today and too much of that will put a hurt on the rainbow population.


As a good fisherman, I'll choose to blame today's slow fishing on the weather conditions, the stream flow, and the lack of a really solid hatch. Of course, the whole day I felt like I should be able to catch fish a little more consistently so its probably time to head back to the vise and perfect a few more patterns...and next time, maybe I'll spend a little more time just watching and observing the water and the fish instead of insisting on fishing hard all day. A little observation can go a long way to solving slow fishing days...

2 comments:

  1. Hi David!

    Thought I might see you on the HI yesterday?>?>
    Anywho, I hooked my first fish ever on some of Kelly Galloup's gear (white circus peanut)---thought I would "hawg hunt" in 2009... Hope we can get together some time!
    best ones!
    Hope you are doing well!
    dan in knoxville

    ReplyDelete
  2. Daniel,

    Good to hear from you. I probably won't be on the HI as much this spring because I graduated and am now back in Crossville. I'll head down that way at some point though. If you decide to come fish the Caney some Sunday, let me know...If you want to throw streamers, the Caney should be great for that in another 2-4 weeks if we get the normal shad kill...

    ReplyDelete

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