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

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Persistance Pays Off

In my opinion, the largest difference in fishing ability is strictly a result of persistence. Perseverance is what separates the men from the boys, the posers from the real deal. Those that put in their time learning a stream and how to fish it are invariably the most successful fisherman. My buddy Joe Mcgroom is one of the most dedicated fisherman I've ever met. He will spend as much time looking for fish as he does actually fishing, sometimes even more. When we fished together and he finally caught the nice 13 inch brown on Little River, I got to watch him in action and see how he would approach a difficult fish.

Recently he found a nice brown trout on Little River. Of course, there are good numbers of nice fish but knowing that they are there and actually finding them are two distinctly different things. This past Monday, amid cold temperatures and intermittent snowfall, he decided to try and catch this fish. The horrible weather conditions made it uncomfortable for him, but the fish felt safer with the low light. Here's what happened next:


I spotted the fish in the same position as the last time I missed him. After rigging up my nymphs, the fish started to rise periodically. I switched to a dry but was unable to get him to eat anything. It snowed the whole time on me, and my hands were going numb from changing flies so often. I tried just about every nymph and dry in my box until he finally rose to a small, dark dry fly. After several tense jumps and a brief run, I netted the fish, took a couple pictures, and released it.


When I talked to Joe after he had caught the fish, the excitement in his voice was obvious. I would have been excited also if I had caught a 17" brown on Little River after working as hard as he did. Despite making it sound almost routine, Joe worked this fish for over 2 hours before hooking and landing it. Most people would have given up long before, but he persisted and was amply rewarded...

4 comments:

  1. That's a great story! I'd be difficult to live with for a few days if I caught a fish like that on a dry in the Smokies after working it so long. Really good stuff...

    Nathan

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  2. way to go Joe! Excellent fish!

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  3. hey david, i really enjoy reading your articals. infact i perfer your articals over most magizens iv subscribed to. keep the good work up.

    great pictures also

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  4. I will have to agree with ivan I enjoy your articals more then the mags but keep up the good work and maybe I will see you out there fishing sometime.

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