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, May 03, 2009

Bluegills Galore

The rain does not want to stop but that's just fine as far as I'm concerned. Foul weather just seems to turn the fish on. The obvious downside is that our tailwaters will be generating for several more weeks, but I'm okay with that as well. After 2+ years of severe drought, too much rain is definitely preferred over not enough rain.

This afternoon I made a quick run over to the nearby lake I've been hitting more frequently lately. When I arrived, a gentle rain was breaking up the surface so it was hard to spot fish. I decided to try something different today. Instead of just carrying one rod I carried two, one for 'gills and one for bass. My four weight was rigged with two simple flies, a #10 white Wooly Bugger variation and trailing behind was a #16 purple Simi Seal Leech. The rain began to taper off and I started spotting a few fish in close to the bank. After varying the retrieve, I settled on fairly fast 6 inch strips and the fish were soon jumping all over my flies. Early on, the white fly was killer but as the afternoon wore on, the fish became increasingly keyed on the smaller leech pattern and wanted it fished slower.


I never landed any good bass although I did hook a couple on the little leech. A bass on a #16 hook and 6X tippet doesn't stay on long without a lot of luck and while mine was good, it wasn't that good. I had to be satisfied with a bunch of feisty bluegill which were actually a lot of fun since most of them were caught while sight fishing. One of the large specimens of the afternoon had been gorging on earthworms. When I landed the fish, it commenced spitting up worm after worm. I finally got it to stay still long enough to get a picture with a nice juicy worm dangling out of its mouth.


Now I know why worms worked so well back when I was a little kid with a cane poll and bobber. Apparently all the rain brought the worms out and they got washed into the lake where the fish were waiting for the feast.

As the rain came down harder, I started thinking about how nice it would be to go home and dry out. Finally I gave in and called it a day. Not a bad way to spend a few hours in the afternoon!

3 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great day fishing. Good photos.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dave,
    Your pictures are great especially the Spring Rainbow. I guess I am partial to trout.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've got to agree...I'm partial to trout as well. Wish there were more trout streams close to where I live...I'd probably never fish for anything else...

    ReplyDelete

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