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

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Diverse Weekend

In addition to attending Troutfest, I also managed to get a little fishing in as well this past weekend. I caught a few trout, a few bass, some panfish, and my first carp...not a bad way to spend the weekend I have to say.

Saturday afternoon, I decided to do a little scouting around Catoosa WMA northeast of Crossville. Catoosa is a large wild area with plenty of untouched water to sample. The streams contain bass and panfish, and there are rumors of musky in the more remote sections. I wanted to check a favorite access point and possibly fish while I was there. Unfortunately, storms earlier in the day had Stream "A" high and muddy. No worries though as I drove a few miles to another stream.

When I arrived, I was pleased to find the water low and clear. While watching the water for some indication of active fish, I saw a smallie cruise past and vanish into a deep hole. I went back to the car and grabbed the 4 weight, rigging it with a small Crazy Charlie variation I tie. Back at the waters edge, I flipped the fly into some bankside structure before wading in and caught a few fish before even getting wet.


The sky was becoming more threatening and low rumbles of thunder told me that I was fighting against time at this point. After a couple more fish, the thunder was loud enough that I decided to call it a day. Twenty minutes of fishing and 5-6 fish is a nice relaxed way to enjoy the afternoon.


On the drive back out, I saw a turkey wandering around in the road. It spooked as I drove closer so I couldn't get a picture. The wildflowers were stunning, and at one point, I just had to stop and take a couple of pictures.


Saturday night I tied up a couple of Light Cahill parachute patterns. I was more or less out, and this, along with the Yellow Sallies, is the hatch to be fishing right now in the Smokies. Of course, there are lots of other bugs in the water right now as well so be prepared. My goal was to fish dries during the evening hatch after attending Troutfest.
Sunday morning I slept in later than I intended but eventually got on the road to Townsend. At Troutfest, I wandered around taking in the sights and got to talk to several old friends and meet some new ones. After I saw everything I wanted to, I headed over to Little River Outfitters to pick up some tying materials I was needing. My buddy Trevor was supposed to meet me there so we could go check out the bass action.

After he arrived and picked up the things he was needing from the shop, we went in search of some smallmouth bass. Unfortunately the fish were not very cooperative, but we both managed to catch a few. Rain eventually caught up with us again so I decided to head back to the mountains for the evening hatch. I stopped at the first pool I came to on Little River (yeah, not many options there so guess away...) and found fish rising steadily. The Light Cahill parachute accounted for a few smaller rainbows before I moved on to another location. The final pool of the evening yielded several rainbows including one that was probably 10 or 11 inches. When I couldn't see my fly well anymore, I knew I was approaching the limits of legal fishing hours and decided to head back towards Crossville.

I stopped at one of my striper spots hoping to find the big fish in feeding, but instead I found lots of carp. They were definitely as picky as any fish I've ever cast to although that could be simply because I have no clue when it comes to catching carp. Finally I got one to take a pheasant tail nymph and the battle was on. I couldn't believe how hard this fish pulled. Everytime I thought it was ready to give up, the fish would go on another hard run. Fishing alone, I was unable to get a picture but I still have the memory.

The carp was a strange end to a pleasant yet diverse weekend of fishing. I always enjoy catching a new species although I don't really keep a detailed list of all the fish I've caught. The main thing I learned this weekend was that there are some great places close to home that I need to be fishing more. More to come on that as I get out on the water...

2 comments:

  1. I heard good things about Troutfest with all those big names there. Sounds like an exciting weekend. Congrats on your carp.

    Ben

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ben, thanks! The carp was definitely a blast for sure< and Troutfest wasn't bad either...

    ReplyDelete

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