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

Monday, July 05, 2010

No Need For Greed

Catching lots of fish seems to be the goal of fly fishing these days. Naturally we all want to catch plenty of fish, especially since we could spend the same amount of time on the water without a fly rod if we were just out for the experience. Still, sometimes it is nice to relax and just appreciate the overall experience as it comes.

My fishing drought ended yesterday. I had spent the weekend in Atlanta and was on my way back home when the brilliant thought occurred to me that the Tellico area really wasn't that far out of my way. All my fishing gear had magically been stashed in my car before the trip so everything fell into place nicely. I rarely fish the mainstem Tellico, opting for small tributary streams instead where the only fish you'll encounter are wild and the crowds are slim to none.

After driving around scanning lots of water, I finally just eased the car into a pulloff and got out to examine the stream. The water is getting very low so I knew stealth would be the order of the day. I casually rigged up a 9 foot 4 weight Legend Ultra and extended the leader with around 20 inches of 6x tippet. Low clear water and a lack of big fish convinced me that I could get away with tippet that was lighter than I normally use and that it would in fact improve my success. The vast majority of the time I start with a nymph, but on this day I wanted to catch fish on dries. After observing the stream and its environs, I realized that I would probably be creating an artificial hatch. The only bugs around were some extremely pesky gnats that were trying to make my life miserable. A light cahill parachute seemed like a good way to cover water. The fish here are not picky and will generally rise to just about any reasonable pattern.

My guess proved to be a good one on the first cast. Catching fish immediately can often be the sign of a terrible day of fishing. The first cast curse didn't strike thankfully and a short while later I caught another. Continuing up the creek, I fished around 80 yards of water. It took me around 45 minutes to cover the section and in that time I pulled out 8 little rainbows. All were healthy and very feisty making pictures difficult.


As I approached the pulloff where I had left my car, I realized that my day was already perfect. Asking anything more of the stream would just be greedy. One of my fish came on one of those casts that you make and then wonder how in the world you just pulled it off. Everything was working nicely and to fish any longer would have invited a sub-par ending to the day. I decided to head on back towards civilization and home, the perfect interlude in my day complete...

2 comments:

  1. I love the Tellico area, but always seem to forgot to go there. I really like the theme of the report. We get caught up in the act of catching fish so often that we forget that the reason we are fishing. I always try to spend a few minutes in the water taking in my surrondings before I make my first cast. It helps me slow down.

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  2. Imagine that! Your rod and gear magically stowed in your car, just in case. Happens to me all the time. Glad you caught a few. Makes the stop worth while.

    Mark

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