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, August 14, 2009

First Striped Bass

If you read my blog throughout 2008, then you are aware that I spent a fair amount of time chasing various warm water species. A lot of that time was spent below Chickamauga Dam on the Tennessee River searching for striped bass or whatever else would hit. I always had to settle for the "whatever else would hit," and while it was great adding several new species to the list of fish caught, I really wanted to get that striper.

Recently I had a buddy call me up and tell me that he had caught his first and that I should try it out. At first I hated the thought of making the drive from Crossville, but subsequent stories of nice fish and a few pictures to back them up convinced me that I had to try. Earlier this week I headed out in the late afternoon for an evening of fun, fishing, and hopefully my first striped bass. The drive went by fairly quickly in my excitement.

I rolled up to the river just ahead of my buddy and started rigging up as I waited for him. When he got there, he took me down to the water and showed me the good spots. We started to see the occasional boil that told us something was chasing baitfish. I couldn't wait any longer and started casting.

After what seemed like only a few minutes but was probably more like 20 or 30, I felt a hard bump and set the hook with authority. Immediately I knew that whatever I was attached to was much stronger than 99% of all other fish I've ever hooked. I was fishing my 7 weight, and the fish was still very much in control of the situation. Minutes later I finally saw the fish and realized that my long search for a striper was over.


Throughout the evening, we both caught and released several stripers along with some hybrids and yellow bass. I had an absolute blast and will be back soon for more...before I do though I will be tying up a few more flies. One turned out to be killer, but naturally I only had one. This was the perfect fishing trip to break in the 7 weight. We never caught any big fish as far as stripers go but even the 5-8 pound fish wore me out. I can't imagine what the 20 and 30 pound fish would feel like...

Here's a few more from the evening including my largest that hit just before we decided to call it a night...

One of Trevor's fish...check out how fat the fish is...


My largest fish...


4 comments:

  1. Hey David. Out West, our Striper run was short. We're waiting for the Steelhead next month. You caught a couple of nice ones. Way to go.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous4:09 PM

    That looks like a lot of fun!

    David P.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey David - In in a similar situation - I normally target trout on the Clinch and the Hiwassee. Here lately I've been trying to hook up a striper on the lower Hiwassee - I've heard they are lot's of fun on a fly rod.

    So far I'm catching respectable smallmouth bass on flashy streamers.

    Any chance you'll post a photo of the fly that was working for you?

    Nice Fish!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I can put up a picture of the fly I've been catching them on but honestly most people would not look at it as a "striper" fly. Basically, I would try to match whatever bait fish are present. On the HI, I would throw big rainbow trout streamers...and I do mean BIG. Anyway, I'll try to get a picture up sometime soon...

    ReplyDelete

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