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

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Onward to the Gunnison


Colorado 2009 was really about catching big fish on big bugs. My buddy Trevor and I were hoping to hit the Salmonfly hatch on the Gunnison River and also fish the Cicada hatch on the Green. The weather conspired against us to cause some trouble in reaching our goals but not entirely. We got tired of the cold and wet weather that seemed to be the norm on the Taylor and decided to head west in search of clearer skies.

Last year was a banner year on the Gunnison with lots of good fish caught and some monsters hooked and lost. We were hoping for a repeat performance as we rolled into the Black Canyon at East Portal. There is a pleasant campground there that we really like staying at. The main problem with the campground are the hordes of mice that will find their way just about anywhere, including into your car, in search of food. Despite the mice, we were excited to get started so as soon as we arrived, the fly rods came out and we headed down to the river.

The biggest difference between this year and last was the water level. Last year the river was at around 1000 cfs and quite easy to fish. This year, an unusually wet June had the Bureau of Reclamation constantly altering releases from the dams across the Rocky Mountain states, and the Gunnison was no exception. When we arrived, Crystal Dam was releasing over 3000 cfs and the difference was definitely obvious. The water was much cooler so the fish were not as active. We fished for a good 20 or 30 minutes before I finally hooked up on a red midge larva. A nice chunky brown finally came to the net, and my buddy Trevor took a picture of the first Gunnison River trout of the trip. We moved slowly down the river and got into a few more fish. The fishing was not on fire, but it was not terrible either. All of the fish were in great shape and athletic, ripping line at will.


After catching several fish each we finally decided to call it an evening. Our hopes were high for the next day and we went to bed thinking about swarms of bird-sized insects and fish crashing the surface for the huge morsels...


1 comment:

  1. See thats enough to put me off the cold weather, but wow that one that you got there, is just stunning what coloring it has.

    ReplyDelete

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