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

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Slough Creek Cuttfest


Taking a Yellowstone trip close on the heels of another major fly fishing trip is a recipe for blogging disaster. I have enough material to start a couple more blogs, at least for a little while that is. I'll do my best to not keep you in suspense for too long. Just know that there are big fish to come...

Our first full day in Yellowstone country was supposed to be an easy day of catching cutthroat trout in an idyllic meadow stream. We hit the Slough Creek trailhead just ahead of an army of backpackers and hustled to stay ahead of them. During the initial climb over the ridge to the First Meadow, I came across a beautiful rack of elk antlers. My buddy Joe and cousin Nathan took a few pictures to document what I would look like as an elk. Deciding that antlers would be too heavy to carry around on one's head, I put them back and continued up the trail in search of the beautiful Yellowstone Cutthroat.


Our goal was the Second Meadow, but it was difficult to pass up the First Meadow. Our sights were set though and we pressed on. Finally we glimpsed water again through the trees and quickly veered off towards the stream. The hike in had made us hungry so we paused for lunch. As soon as he finished, Joe tied on a fly and started searching for that first fish. He caught the first and several more while Nathan and I watched. Finishing our own food, we both couldn't wait any longer and moved on up the stream looking for risers.

Coming up to a perfect bend pool, I saw a good fish rising against the far bank. This pool was one of the larger on the stream and I wasn't sure how my accuracy would be at that distance. The water was perfectly flat and I didn't want to spook what appeared to be a nice cutt. Stripping off plenty of line I started casting. Finishing off with a good double haul, I let the line shoot through the guides, and the fly plopped onto the water a few feet above the fish. The fish was anything but selective and inhaled my offering. Everything worked out perfectly from the hookset to controlling the last run just as I was about to net the fish. Finally I had the fish in the net and ready for a couple of quick pictures. Joe and Nathan both snapped a few for me, and then I released the healthy fish for someone else to enjoy.




We all moved on up the stream catching fish in just about any good looking spot. Later in the day we started sightfishing to the bank feeders and fooled a few good fish that way as well. Terrestrials accounted for most of our fish. I had been looking forward to a solid hatch but it wasn't meant to be. The bright sun kept the fish hunkered down and spooky for the better part of the day. Cutts are not known for their intelligence and this reputation came through as we all did well under what would be tough conditions on my home waters.


I should mention that it was Joe's birthday and he caught plenty of birthday fish...definitely not the worst way you could spend your birthday.

Nathan had a tough time that day because he forgot sunscreen. By the end of the day he was a crispy red and experiencing the chills that can accompany a good sunburn. He was a warrior though and caught his share of fish. Thankfully he started feeling better after resting for a couple hours back in camp.



We definitely had a great start to the trip but things would only get better. Fittingly the very last day of the trip was the most memorable for both my friend Joe and me. Unfortunately my cousin couldn't join us for the whole trip but his second day was unbelievable. In fact, my second day wasn't too bad either. Rumors of salmonflies on the Yellowstone had us planning on fishing there for day two. We were all tired after the long hike up Slough Creek and hit the sack with dreams of the mother of all salmonfly hatches...

4 comments:

  1. David,

    Man, Slough's looking good. Great report...Can't wait for the rest. Did you try any alpine lakes in and around the park?

    Tyler

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's an amazing set of antlers you found, much better than the one in AZ you found.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Tyler,

    The only laked we fished was Trout Lake. I'll share more about that in a day or two.

    Adam, we found several sets of antlers at least that large. Many of them were attached to the skull. Makes you wonder what happened....seems like an elk that large could defend itself against most predators. Too bad I couldn't take any of them home with me like the AZ one...

    ReplyDelete
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