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, January 29, 2010

Force Feeding


Sometimes you have to hit a fish in the nose to get it to eat....literally. A couple of weekends ago I was fishing in the Smokies with a couple of fishing buddies, Joe and Caleb. Joe was fishing a nice flat run while I spotted from on top of the bank. In the back, a brown aggressively chased his offering but wouldn't quite eat. After a couple of repeat performances, the fish finally saw him and moved into the middle of the stream where it sat motionless on the bottom.

Not wanting to bother with a fish that was only eleven or twelve inches, Joe worked on upstream. I continued to watch the fish. Finally it occurred to me that the fish would probably eat if I could just force feed it. I grabbed my fly rod which had a weighted wooly bugger and crept into position. The first several casts drifted close but there was little interest from the fish. Once it gave a half-hearted glance at the fly drifting by but that was it.

I couldn't shake the feeling that the fish would eat and decided to try and drift the fly directly into the fish. A couple of casts later, the fly was drifting perfectly and a well-timed mend set up the final drift. Suddenly the fly seemed to disappear into the fish, and I set the hook hard. I can't say that I actually saw the fish open its mouth, but I did notice the fly just seemed to vanish with the fish being the only likely culprit. After a brief but lively battle, I brought the fish to hand and Joe came back downstream to snap a couple of pictures for me. It definitely wasn't the largest fish I've ever landed but it was one of the more satisfying. I believe it was the first time I ever force fed a fish intentionally without having it ever move to take the fly...

6 comments:

  1. Anonymous10:28 AM

    Makes me think of the salmon swing where fish are snagged in the mouth. I've fished all over and I'm not sure anything tops the satisfaction of catching browns in the Park. Good work.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ok, Mr. Knapp, So i was sitting here trying to figure out what the exact definition of an intelligent comment was. The definition of intelligence is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge. So I read your blog and came to the conclusion that you spend an excessive amount of time upended in a runnel with your fly fishing rod! And that you have a passion (if in case no one noticed) beyond the definition of passion for fish and fishing. So this is my intelligent denouement. Hope you enjoyed, and please come again when you can't stay so long! JK
    Elise

    ReplyDelete
  3. Elise, glad you had time to check out my blog. Hope you are having a good break!

    ReplyDelete
  4. David - Stumbled upon your blog and glad I did. Looks like you fish some beautiful water. I've "following" your blog and will add it to my blogroll. Feel free to do the same (although you don't have to). Look forward to reading about your future outings.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Reuben Hall11:00 AM

    Knapp, this is what I learned from this post.
    Fishing takes a lot of patience, the kind that I wish I had. Especially when it is necessary to creep up on a fish, and then with some potency stuff the fly into its mouth: Patience is a virtue. Now I understand that fishermen have a great deal of patience not only with fish but also with anything else that requires it!!
    And as for an intelligent elucidation, I hope this qualifies.
    Reuben

    ReplyDelete
  6. Troutrageous, thanks for checking out my blog and thanks for the link. I added one to your blog.

    Reuben, patience is definitely a virtue...in fishing as well as teaching...hahaha.

    ReplyDelete

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