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, December 22, 2010

Went Fishing, Got Cold, Caught a Few

Some people quit fishing through the cold months of the year, and that's just fine with me.  Getting out on the stream with little to no competition is a special experience, especially somewhere like the Smoky Mountains.  After the mad days of spring, summer, and fall, wandering up and down Little River and maybe seeing two other anglers is a refreshing change of pace. 

Yesterday, I headed for the mountains to meet my buddy Travis from the Fishing Fanatic.  We try to fish a few times a year, but often getting our schedules to match up can be a little tricky.  Despite the cold weather, we decided to fish no matter what.  Our original plan involved the South Holston but TVA's generation schedule has been a little strange to say the least.  Plan B was to head for the freestone streams of the Smokies.

After exploring our options, we finally settled on a good pool that always has a few willing fish.  A smattering of midges were hatching so I suggested to Travis that he start out with some type of nymph (preferably a stonefly) and a midge as a dropper.  From a good vantage point above the water, everything appeared to be completely dead at first glance.  However, our patience was rewarded and we soon saw fish moving around on the bottom.  The water was frigid but fish still have to eat, and they were moving around quite a bit.

Travis completed his setup with some split shot and moved into position while I stayed put so I could spot fish.  After a few casts, he was getting a perfect drift each time.  Eventually the inevitable happened and his indicator dove under.  Soon a beautiful wild rainbow was brought to hand, and I snapped a quick picture to prove we really did go fishing.  Some people have a hard time believing that I fish in such weather so pictures are always helpful.


We fished that pool awhile longer with Travis catching some more fish.  Finally we decided to head downstream to try another spot or two.  I picked up a nice rainbow at another favorite spot before we called it a day.  For as much time as we were out, neither of us actually fished a ton.  We both spent a good amount of time looking for nicer fish.  None of the better fish we saw were in a good spot to fish to so we left them without harassing them. 

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