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

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Encore

After last weekend's striper mania, the only fitting encore was to return for more. I had a few hours free Saturday night and decided to head back for more punishment. Joining me in pursuit of the large stripers would be my buddy Joe Mcgroom who finally agreed to come see what all the hoopla was all about.

I made it down to my fishing hole ahead of him and as it is a bit remote, he had a hard time figuring out how to get there. Hoping to catch a couple before he arrived, I strung up the rod and went to work chucking big nasty flies. Shortly after starting, I hooked a monster that would easily have been the largest I've landed yet. Unfortunately it somehow managed to throw the hook after a blistering run that had the drag on my Lamson screaming. Where there's one there must be more so I started working the water again. Soon another fish was on. After a hard-fought battle, the fish finally agreed to be corralled and I got a quick picture.


Finally Joe showed up and I demonstrated to him the proper technique and showed him where a fish should be. Then something incredible happened. On his first fishing trip for stripers, he hooked into a really nice fish. Neither of us saw the fish but the bend in his rod and the screaming reel were evidence enough. Several hard runs later, the fish finally began to tire. Joe did an excellent job of not forcing the issue and finally the fish was close enough for me to grab. Putting your hand in the mouth of one of these fish is a bit intimidating. If they happen to clamp down with their jaws it can also be a bit uncomfortable.

After lifting the fish out of the water, I passed it off to Joe, and he hoisted his first ever striper for a couple of pictures. I was thrilled to see him hook such an awesome striper on his first trip and amazed at how fast he did it. Joe had been fishing no more than 15 minutes when he hooked the fish.


We fished for another hour or two and I landed one more that weighed around 20 pounds, but overall the evening slowed down considerably. This seems to be the normal pattern. You catch or at least hook 4-6 fish in this spot and then it gets quiet for the rest of the time. I won't complain though. The trip is worth it to land just one of these beautiful fish, and I got two.


Next weekend I am planning a trip for trout in the mountains of east Tennessee. The weather may be a bit uncooperative, but I am going no matter what. Stripers are a lot of fun, but nothing can beat trout for me at least. In the meantime, I'm still working on a few other things that I hope to be able to share this week. In addition, I am working on an article for the Little River Journal from Little River Outfitters (you have to sign up to receive it by email). Of course, in between all this I need to actually teach some classes as well so I'll be busy this week for sure!

5 comments:

  1. Thanks David for the tip on the Big nasty. I'm going to see if I can find it here and give it a try on our American River Stripers.

    Mark

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  2. Saw the next day where you had called. *kicks self*

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  3. you're gonna have to change the name of this site to "the striper zone"

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  4. Any species of fish must fear you. You are awesome!

    ReplyDelete

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