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, April 01, 2010

Small Ponds Waking Up

This is one of my favorite times of year. In the mountains the trout are rising to the best hatches of the season, and at the same time the warm water scene is heating up. This past week we had an outing for the guys at the school I teach at. There would be a small lake very close by so I took a couple of fly rods hoping to get a little fishing.
Things worked out much better than I anticipated when a bunch of guys wanted to go swimming and I was assigned to be one of the people to supervise. Naturally I rigged up the two rods. At this point some of the guys were watching with a bit of interest and one came over and asked if he could try it out. I'm always glad to give my students a chance to try the sport. Last year's outing produced good results with the bluegill for all the students that tried fly fishing.

This year I was a bit surprised by the fact that only one guy, Michael, was really interested in trying it out. We both strung up our rods, mine for bass and his for bluegill, and started to slowly make our way around the pond. I fished the first spot, all the while providing commentary on what I was doing and I.
Michael K. Photograph

As I was bouncing my fly past some structure, a bass came out to inhale the offering. The guys were all impressed and I was happy. Last year we couldn't buy any bass on this lake so it was a good start. After getting a couple of pictures, we continued moving around the pond. I slowly worked ahead, constantly watching for fish and directing him to sneak up and cast when any were spotted. Still, the fish were very spooky and we were having a hard time getting close enough for his basic casting skills.

Michael K. Photograph

Finally, we were about out of time. I stopped at a small bay and proceeded to pick up my third small bass of the day while he jumped in a canoe with another guy to take a shortcut back. As I was releasing my fish, I heard him shouting, "Mr. Knapp, Mr. Knapp!!! I've got one!!!" I sent back instructions to keep the fish in the water until I arrived and then hurried on around to where he was. He had a big grin on his face and a nice little bluegill. After helping him pose with the fish, I snapped a couple of pictures and then we released the fish. All in all, it was a great outing and hopefully another young person was converted to the sport.


I currently have a new float tube sitting in my living room waiting for its maiden voyage. I'm hoping to do that tomorrow or Sunday so check back soon for more warm water action here in East Tennessee. I'll be heading for the mountains again soon as well...

6 comments:

  1. Great job recruiting fly fishers! Always worthwhile getting people in the outdoors whether they turn into anglers or not. Just essential for people to see what's out there.

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  2. Way to go David. Getting young people out on a day like that could easily turn them into fishermen. We need more youngsters learing about fishing.

    Mark

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  3. Very cool post. :D

    Its nice helping people get into some fish that are new at.

    Ill have to check out your blog now.

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  4. David
    I am for getting anyone outdoors these days, especially the young kids. Nice looking bass, was it on a popper? I have been on our local lake 3 times this week using nymphs and today poppers with my son-in-law. I will be doing a post on the trip Sunday. Again great job. Bill

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  5. Nice work! Great stuff!

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  6. Bill,

    I wasn't fishing on the surface...the fly that was working is a variation on the Crazy Charlie but tied in minnow colors...

    David Knapp

    ReplyDelete

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