Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 10/17/2018

Fishing continues to be good to excellent in the Great Smoky Mountains of east Tennessee. 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 Yellow Quills are still hanging on in the mid to high elevation brook trout water although not for long. October caddis (more properly, great autumn sedges) are hatching in good numbers now on the North Carolina side of the Park and just starting on the Tennessee side. Terrestrials still have a place in your fly box as well although they are definitely winding down for the year. 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. Brook trout are still eating smaller yellow dry flies as well. 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 hoping to get some type of a report for there soon. 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 are holding off for 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. 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 and one or two in October. 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

Friday, November 26, 2010

November Sunset

This is one of many reasons why I love the cold months.  It seems the sunrises and sunsets are consistently better this time of year, and of course that could just be my imagination.  Regardless, I DO know that I particularly enjoyed the sunset this evening despite the coldest temperatures of the season yet and stiff breeze that tried in vain to deter my photography session.  The beauty in the heavens was too much for me to be distracted by something as insignificant as cold weather.  Here are a few of the pictures from the evening...








Stranded

On the way home from my last fishing trip, trouble caught up with my car, and now I'm immobile at least for a few days and perhaps longer.  My trusty troutmobile finally had some serious problems so it looks like I won't be fishing much for awhile.  I still have a report or two to post and hope to get some tying posts up as well.  During the cold months is the time to start tying and stocking up on flies for the new year.  I will be offering up some patterns for sale on a limited basis, so if you need a source for your 2011 patterns don't hesitate to contact me.  If you need recommendations for a particular destination just let me know, and I'll do my best to help or point you in the right direction...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Big Day on the River


Today was one of the better days I've had on the river in the last few months.  Fish were feeding heavily and once I found the right fly combination I was into fish pretty much the whole time.  I fished a fly that I haven't really thrown yet this fall but was reminded how it has been one of the better tailwater patterns I've fished over the years.  The hot fly was a midge larva pattern that I have fished out west on rivers like the Gunnison and Roaring Fork in Colorado as well as the tailwaters here in the east.  If anyone doesn't tie and needs this pattern, I'm offering a few patterns now so just shoot me an email, and I can give you the details and pricing. 

The Caney has not had the best schedule for wade fishing, but you can still fish the upper river late in the day for a few hours once the water starts falling out.  Right now the fishing is tough if you don't know the river well.  These are the conditions when a good guide can be particularly helpful to put you on the fish.  The water is still running quite cloudy which isn't helping those who prefer to sight fish.  Fish are concentrated anywhere the water is funneling food.  Shoals provide the best concentrations of fish right now, but fish are spread throughout the river as well.  Late day midge hatches are coming on strong and bringing a few trout to the surface.  Anglers that enjoy stalking trout with tiny dries and emergers can do well right now as long as they stay patient. 

Within the first 10 casts I caught 3 fish, a brookie, then a brown, and finally completed the slam with a rainbow.  Throughout the afternoon, I managed more rainbows than anything else but did catch 3 beautiful brook trout and 3 browns including one chunky fish that was close to 18 inches. 



I found a few fish that were willing to eat a zebra midge late in the day.  Over the next few weeks, the streamer bite should start to pick up.  The browns are coming off the spawn and should be hungry.  Overall, the river is in the best shape I've seen for awhile.  If we can avoid any major flood events and keep generation to a minimum this winter, then next year should be a great one for the Caney Fork...


Thursday, November 04, 2010

Caney Fork Outings

Despite my lack of trip reports, I actually have got a little time in on the stream.  Over the last month, I have been on the Caney Fork a couple of times including a float trip with David Perry this past weekend.  The river is fishing fairly well although the water is quite off color right now during generation.  I'm not sure if the lake is turning over or if it is just a result of the low lake levels.  Whatever the cause, the water clarity could definitely be better.

A few weeks ago, I went down for an afternoon on the river and had one of my best outings in a long time.  The days where expectations are low seem to turn out the best, and this was one of those days.  I fished here and there before finally settling onto a nice riffle that spills over into a deep run.  It seemed that every rainbow in the river had moved up into the shallows to feed.  The routine was so simple that it almost was ridiculous.  Throw in my nymphs, watch the indicator dive, raise the rod, and voila, a trout was hooked.

Caney at sunset

Caney rainbow

On this and subsequent trips, the hot fly was a Ray Charles which does a good job of imitating the scuds and sow bugs present in the river.  For anyone who is unfamiliar with this fly, I highly recommend giving it a shot.  At certain times of the year it is particularly effective.  If you don't tie and need a source for this fly, contact Trevor Smart at customtiedflies@gmail.com.  He charges $1.50 per fly and ties other patterns as well such as the South Holston staple, a Tungsten Bead Stripper Midge (#20-#22).

Trevor Smart Photograph 

 Trevor Smart Photograph

This past weekend's float was very similar.  Early on, I started out throwing streamers in the hopes of finding an aggressive monster brown.  All that wanted to play though were the rainbows.  Later, the nymph rod did the trick with the Ray Charles producing well most of the day and Copper Johns picking up the slack later on.  The fish all seemed to be quite healthy including one hot rainbow that came from a slot up against a log.  This fish shot out of the water in the first of several jumps as soon as it was hooked, truly one of the better aerial shows I've seen from a trout this whole year.

 David Perry working a nice run

I FINALLY saw a train on the tracks along the Caney on this particular trip.  Up until this float, I had NEVER seen a train anywhere around the Caney although I could only assume that the tracks weren't just there for nothing.  Best of all, we caught the train as it crossed the Smith Fork bridge, providing a photo opportunity that few get without either getting lucky or going to some effort.

Train over Smith Fork bridge 


Late in the day, we found three Bald Eagles that also gave me an opportunity to use my camera.  Someday I'll have a better zoom lens, but in the meantime I'm just glad to have seen these beautiful birds and documented the experience.  We also saw deer and even the river itself provided incredible opportunities for my camera.

Bald Eagles 

Fog makes the river almost eerie yet beautiful at the same time.

 Hopefully I'll be returning to fish the Caney in the next few days.  I also have a trip to the Smokies coming up in just over a week.  Check back for updates on those trips as well as some more reports from the last month or two...

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Poll

We haven't had a poll in quite a while here at the Trout Zone, but I finally fixed that.  The poll is simply asking what water type you do most of your trout fishing on.  I'm curious what type of fishing most of the readers here do.  I spend more time on freestone streams personally but not by too much.  I make it out to the tailwaters often as well.  You can only choose one option on this poll, so if you have a close second then leave a comment explaining that...

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