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, May 18, 2009

Blizzard Hatch

In the Smokies, a blizzard hatch is probably a little different from one in more nutrient-rich waters. Still, from time to time the stars will align and the bugs will pour off the water all at once. Yesterday was such a day and I was fortunate enough to be there to enjoy the event.

I drove up to the Smokies planning to enjoy the last few hours of Troutfest but also planned on fishing. Driving into Townsend I noticed that LR was up and muddy. Thoughts of big browns were soon roaming through my head but I decided to check out Troutfest first. That proved to be an excellent choice. I got to meet a lot of great tiers but the pinnacle was watching Joe Humphreys do his casting seminar. I learned a lot of great stuff watching a true master who is also blessed with the ability to teach!

After the seminar, I headed over to LRO to pick up some stuff I've been needing and then drove up LR road to look for some good fishing. The first few places I stopped all had a few scattered bugs coming off but nothing special. The water was very high and I tried to avoid wading as much as possible. Chucking big nymphs and streamers was the order of the day until my 3rd or 4th stop. The pool is one of the better known ones on Little River and is known for producing good fish. I was hoping to find a large brown out looking for a big meal. As I ran my streamer through the pool, I couldn't help but notice that the bugs were quickly becoming thicker and despite the high, stained water, the fish were rising enthusiastically for the banquet. I ran back up to the car and grabbed my dry fly box and a new leader and hurried back.

The surface activity was better than before and I had a hard time tying everything on and watching all the fish rising at the same time. Finally I had a parachute light cahill and started casting. I tried to remember the tips that Joe had talked about. The tricky currents required a lot of slack in both the line and leader or a reach cast with slack in the leader. Most of the fish were rising on the far side of the pool right along the current seam and into the softer water. This made getting a good drift difficult but I started getting it figured out and the fish responded.

Naturally the best activity was impossible to get to with the high water. If I had my waders with me I probably would have attempted a suicidal stream crossing because the fish on the far side under the overhanging trees looked a lot bigger than the 7-10 inch fish I was catching. Fully satisfied with the fishing, I decided to do some exploring...well, kind of anyway... I went up to another popular pool to see if the hatch was as good.

When I got there things seemed a little slower. The fish weren't rising as enthusiastically that I could see and the bugs were definitely fewer. Still, I figured, I might as well give it a shot. Over the next 30 minutes, I had some of the best dry fly action I might have this whole year. The fish were going absolutely crazy. I got some nicer fish up to around 10 inches to take the fly including a couple of browns along with some smaller fish as well. The light cahills were hatching better than I have ever personally experienced. I think it was probably a combination of higher flow and also the cloud cover. Did I mention that NO ONE else was fishing? I could have fished literally wherever I wanted to... The fishing definitely provided the perfect end to a day at Troutfest! Here's a few of the fish I managed to fool...





5 comments:

  1. Niiiiiice!!!

    dan
    PS sent you an email earlier today

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  2. Very nice indeed!

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  3. Hi there
    You really get some great catches, I haven't been out and about, fishing wise, really have to get out there again, but with winter here now its just a bit too cold.

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  4. Those are some beautiful trout. Just came across your blog and wanted to say Hi. I've added you to my blog roll and will visit regularly. Remember: "A bad day fishing is better than any day at work".

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  5. Thanks all for the kind words.

    Shoreman, thanks for checking out my blog. You have a great one as well and I'll be looking forward to learning some good stuff from you...

    ReplyDelete

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