Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 10/17/2018

Fishing continues to be good to excellent in the Great Smoky Mountains of east Tennessee. Delayed harvest streams are also being stocked and fishing well in east Tennessee and western North Carolina.

In the Smokies, fall bugs are in full swing. We have been seeing blue-winged olives almost daily although they will hatch best on foul weather days. They are small, typically running anywhere from #20-#24 although a few larger ones have also shown up. A few Yellow Quills are still hanging on in the mid to high elevation brook trout water although not for long. October caddis (more properly, great autumn sedges) are hatching in good numbers now on the North Carolina side of the Park and just starting on the Tennessee side. Terrestrials still have a place in your fly box as well although they are definitely winding down for the year. Isonychia nymphs, caddis pupa, and BWO nymphs will get it done for your subsurface fishing. Have some October Caddis (#12) and parachute BWO patterns (#18-#22) for dry flies and you should be set. Brook trout are still eating smaller yellow dry flies as well. Not interested in matching the hatch? Then fish a Pheasant Tail nymph under a #14 Parachute Adams. That rig can catch fish year round in the Smokies.

Brook and brown trout are now moving into the open to spawn. During this time of year, please be extremely cautious about wading through gravel riffles and the tailouts of pools. If you step on the redd (nest), you will crush the eggs that comprise the next generation of fish. Please avoid fishing to actively spawning fish and let them do their thing in peace.

Our tailwaters are still cranking although the Caney is finally starting to come down. I'm hoping to get some type of a report for there soon. Stay tuned for more on that. Fishing will still be slow overall with limited numbers of fish in that particular river unfortunately.

The Clinch is featuring high water as they try to catch up on the fall draw down. All of the recent rainfall set them back in this process but flows are now going up to try and make up some of the time lost. It is still fishing reasonably well on high water although we are holding off for the low water of late fall and early winter as it is one of our favorite times to be on the river.

Smallmouth are about done for the year with the cooler weather we are now experiencing. Our thoughts will be turning to musky soon, however. Once we are done with guide trips for the year, we'll be spending more time chasing these monsters.

In the meantime, we still have a few open dates in November and one or two in October. Feel free to get in touch with me if you are interested in a guided trip. Thanks!

Photo of the Month: Fishing in Paradise

Photo of the Month: Fishing in Paradise

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

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