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

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Chasing Lunkers


Over spring break last week, I had originally intended to do a pack trip in the Smokies. Unfortunately my buddy came down with the flu at the last minute and I decided to hold off until another time. Instead, I spent the first day floating the Caney (although without fishing) and then went fishing the second day. My goal was to head to the North Carolina side of the Smokies and camp at Smokemont for a night, allowing me to fish for two days.

I arrived in the Smokies later than I had intended so didn't fish really in the morning. I met my buddy Trevor Smart in the early afternoon to head over to Cherokee to try the tribal water in search of some big fish. We started out on a section he had fished before and were soon catching a few.

The highlight of the afternoon for me was catching my first palomino rainbow trout. The brightly colored fish stand out like a sore thumb so targeting them was easy. I felt a little cheap fishing water that was stocked with pellet pigs but still had a good time. Those big rainbows still know how to fight when they are hooked and it is exciting watching a 20 inch rainbow jumping even if it is a stocker. The fish were rising sporadically and that was even better. Big rainbows sipping little Blue Quills is truly a sight to behold although watching wild browns do it would probably be even better.


In the next few weeks, I'm going to be chasing bass and other warmwater species and also probably do some float trips. The backpacking trip that I've been planning is still going to happen but likely in somewhat abbreviated form (2 nights instead of 3-4). The sun is warm and the day is pleasant so I think I might sneak out a little while this afternoon. The bass should be getting aggressive soon...

6 comments:

  1. Great looking fish David. Looks like your trip went well...Palominos aren't anywhere near spotting a bonefish on a flat. You can see these guys from a distance. That's definately on my list of to-do's this Summer..Catch a palomino.

    Tight lines,
    Tyler

    ReplyDelete
  2. Tyler, it was a blast catching that fish. There were some larger than that one but I couldn't convince them to eat my offerings. Anyway, if you're wanting to catch one, head over to Cherokee...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi David,
    I have fished the Cherokee waters before (that was some time ago) and I have never seen a Paslomino Rainbow Trout. Please educate me about them and chcek out my web site. http://www.troutu.com/

    ReplyDelete
  4. The palomino rainbows are fish that genetically have a bright color that seems to generally be a cross between white and gold. Very unusual looking and not something I'd want to catch every day, still neat to do occasionally...they are stocked in the catch and release trophy section...

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm like you, I've become to feel like a sell out when catching stocked fish...but they are still way fun when you wanna land a few good ones.

    ReplyDelete
  6. David - good looking Palomino. I just returned from Cherokee. Fished last Wednesday thru Saturday. Rained every day but I did snag a couple of browns and one rainbow. Nothing trophy size though as advertised. Palominos were everywhee but I could not get them to rise and take. What did you use?

    ReplyDelete

Newsletter

Subscribe to the Trout Zone Anglers Newsletter!

* indicates required