Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 11/1/2018

Fishing is good in the Smokies and other mountain streams if you can catch it on a day where the wind is minimal. Otherwise, expect lots of leaves in the water for the next few days. Delayed harvest streams are also being stocked and fishing well in east Tennessee and western North Carolina.

In the Smokies, fall bugs are in full swing. We have been seeing blue-winged olives almost daily although they will hatch best on foul weather days. They are small, typically running anywhere from #20-#24 although a few larger ones have also shown up. A few October Caddis are still around as well. Terrestrials are close to being done for the year although we are still seeing a few bees and hornets near the stream. Isonychia nymphs, caddis pupa, and BWO nymphs will get it done for your subsurface fishing. Have some October Caddis (#12) and parachute BWO patterns (#18-#22) for dry flies and you should be set. Not interested in matching the hatch? Then fish a Pheasant Tail nymph under a #14 Parachute Adams. That rig can catch fish year round in the Smokies.

Brook and brown trout are now moving into the open to spawn. During this time of year, please be extremely cautious about wading through gravel riffles and the tailouts of pools. If you step on the redd (nest), you will crush the eggs that comprise the next generation of fish. Please avoid fishing to actively spawning fish and let them do their thing in peace.

Our tailwaters are still cranking although the Caney is finally starting to come down. I'm still hoping to get a firsthand report on the Caney Fork soon although it might be sometime next week or the week after before that happens at the earliest. Stay tuned for more on that. Fishing will still be slow overall with limited numbers of fish in that particular river unfortunately.

The Clinch is featuring high water as they try to catch up on the fall draw down. All of the recent rainfall set them back in this process but flows are now going up to try and make up some of the time lost. It is still fishing reasonably well on high water although we prefer the low water of late fall and early winter as it is one of our favorite times to be on the river.

Smallmouth are about done for the year with the cooler weather we are now experiencing. I caught a few yesterday on the Tennessee River while fishing with guide Rob Fightmaster, but overall the best bite is all but over. Our thoughts will be turning to musky soon, however. Once we are done with guide trips for the year, we'll be spending more time chasing these monsters.

In the meantime, we still have a few open dates in November. Feel free to get in touch with me if you are interested in a guided trip. Thanks!

Photo of the Month: Fishing in Paradise

Photo of the Month: Fishing in Paradise

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Floating with Southeastern Fly

Nathan Stanaway photo


Backpacking in the Smokies is always an enjoyable experience. I've been looking forward to the opportunity to do so for awhile and couldn't wait to get on some of my favorite water in the Park. Unfortunately the best of plans don't always work out. Due to several factors, we had to cancel the Smokies trip. To salvage the weekend, my cousin Nathan decided to come up to Crossville instead, and we planned on floating the Caney.

Originally we planned on taking my canoe, but when David Perry from Southeastern Fly asked if we were interested in floating with him, we both thought that would be a good idea. This turned out to be perfect since David knows the river so well. He showed us a couple of tricks he has for days that seem slower at first, and it made all the difference.

We planned on meeting early. I was actually on time for a change, and we were ready to float by around 6:45 or 7:00. The first hundred yards of the float was spent just trying to navigate through the maze of other river users. Once we got out in front of everyone though the fishing immediately improved. Nathan and I started out fishing, and soon we were both catching fish. The midge hatch produce some excellent fishing on a dry/dropper rig. I wanted to catch some larger fish and eventually couldn't resist the call of the streamer rod.




Within just a few casts with a Stacked Blond, I had a little 10 inch brown on and thought it might turn out to be a good streamer day! Unfortunately the quick success soon turned into lots of follows and flashes but few strikes. Still, I was turning fish and some nice ones at that so I was a little reluctant to stop throwing big streamers for big fish.

We continued down the river and things really slowed down as the sun hit the water. The hordes of canoes coming down the river weren't helping either although most people were being polite. The glaring exception was a boat that motored by within 6 feet or so between the drift boat and the bank that was probably no more than 30 feet away at this point and probably much less. This was while I was working the streamer rod to said bank, and it was all I could do to restrain from blasting one of them in the head with a big streamer. Some people are just not very intelligent.

The dry spell continued for a good distance down the river, largely due to the fact that we were spending a lot of time experimenting. Finally, David went to his bag of tricks and showed us his favorite method of fishing the Caney when it is tough. Immediately we started catching fish and within 10 minutes, I nailed a nice 18 inch brown. That fish made my day, and I was ready to relax for awhile so I took over the oars. Rowing on low water is not a difficult job at all...

Nathan Stanaway photo

Nathan Stanaway photo

David nailed several good fish including browns up to 17 inches. Nathan took over camera duties for awhile and we got some nice pictures of all the fish. When we were about a half a mile or mile above the takeout, Nathan took over in the front and proceeded to catch his own nice 16 inch brown.






The river is slowly coming back although it has a long ways to go before it gets anywhere as good as it used to be. The numbers of fish are still not particularly good and the heavy boat traffic does not help. There are definitely fish to be caught though and even some very nice ones. I'll be looking forward to the opportunity to fish the Caney again, hopefully in the next week or two.

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