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

Friday, May 22, 2009

Results May Vary

One reason I keep returning to the stream with a fly rod in hand is because I can always count on Mother Nature to keep things interesting. There are days where I can do no wrong and it seems the fish are literally throwing themselves onto the hook. Other days are much different and it is only through patience and perserverence that I catch fish. Yesterday was one of those more difficult days.

I made another quick trip to the Smokies because I needed to stop by Little River Outfitters. Not that I need an excuse to go fishing but it does make it seem more reasonable to everyone around me. Two trips to the Smokies in a week is a bit extravagant on my salary, but at least I'm keeping my priorities straight.

After stopping by the shop, I drove up to the trailhead at Elkmont. I had a friend with me that I'm teaching to fly fish and wanted some pocket water that would not require long casts. The plan was to fish some bead head nymphs under an indicator. In the past, this has been a fool proof way to put beginners on fish...not pretty of course, but the important thing is that they start catching fish. After fishing up through a normally productive stretch without catching anything I started getting suspicious. I fished some as well and only missed a couple of strikes for the effort.

Finally in one hole we had lots of fish hit but my buddy was having a hard time with the hookset on these extremely fast fish. I was getting hungry and decided a break might be in order. On the way back down the trail, we stopped at a hole that I can always find a fish in so I could catch one to show him. Success finally smiled on us and I was able to show him what a wild rainbow trout from the Smokies looked like.


We headed back to Subway in Townsend and then went over to Tremont. The first stretch of water that we fished was really nice and should have been producing well. Once again the fishing seemed off. I was really suspicious this time, thinking that most likely someone had already fished through there ahead of us. My suspicions were confirmed this time when we hiked back down the road, following wet footprints nearly all the way back to the car.

Once again we moved upstream and finally found some decent fishing. The fish were still picky and seemed to prefer the flies down in the surface film instead of riding high. The highlight of the day was when my friend caught his first trout and it was on a dry fly! It was not a large fish but that one fish meant a lot to him. Shortly after he hooked and landed another. Unfortunately, the increasingly dim light caused the pictures to come out blurry but I don't think it matters too much. He is enjoying learning to fly fish and has made a lot of progress already. I don't think he lost one fly in the trees all day long!

Overall it was a strange day on the water. I felt that we were fishing behind someone for a large portion of the trip. There were a ton of anglers on the water as we drove up Little River Road and I'm becoming thoroughly convinced that everyone that is losing their job due to the recession is going fishing. I just don't remember ever seeing so many people fishing on weekdays as there have been over the last few months.

The bugs were largely absent until very late in the day. Near sunset, things improved dramatically with light cahills, little yellow stoneflies and golden stoneflies all making an appearance in good numbers with lots of other random bugs thrown in for good measure. After the great hatch Sunday evening, it was a bit frustrating to wait so long on the bugs to show up but it was worth it. Our last fishing was all done with dry flies and the fish weren't too picky... The stream was beautiful in the evening light as sunset approached. I grabbed my DSLR and took a few pictures from the bridge at the traihead on Middle Prong...


2 comments:

  1. Great post. When you're using a BH dropper under an indicator does it matter what kind of indicator you use?

    Did you have to experiment to figure out the depth or do you have a 'goto' depth that you use?

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. David, I like any small indicator that won't slip on the leader. I tend to use the twist on indicators because they are easy for people to get the hang of. Normally I will set the indicator for 2-3 feet. Of course, it is best to constantly adjust the depthy of an indicator but I've found that for someone that isn't used to fishing that way, leaving it 24-36 inches deep just makes things easier and they still catch plenty of fish... If you feel like the fly isn't getting down, put a split shot or two 10 inches above the fly to help...

    ReplyDelete

Newsletter

Subscribe to the Trout Zone Anglers Newsletter!

* indicates required