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

Thursday, January 06, 2011

First Float of the Year: "Just In Time"


When David Perry asked me late last week if I was interested in a weekend float, I was excited for the opportunity to get out on the water in what will probably be a lean month as far as fishing goes.  I asked about fishing streamers and he was game.  My interest immediately increased exponentially as visions of sticking a big fish for the new year started running through my head.  My streamers boxes were checked, but I didn't really get around to tying any new ones.  That turned out to be ok though...

Sunday rolled around, and I woke up early, ready to hit the road for the Caney.  Pulling into our take out point, I saw David P. with the drifter already there.  I got my stuff switched over to his truck and off we went.  As we put the boat in at the launch, we could see people catching a few, and fish were rising occasionally to something small in the surface film.  I had a special spot I wanted to try, and David P. was kind enough to accomodate.  This proved to be a great move as we got into several fish rather quickly including my first crappie of 2011, a few browns, and numerous skipjack. 

 Photo courtesy David Perry

Finally, we realized that we needed to make some progress down river.  Shortly after we started drifting, I hooked an energetic rainbow, but was thrilled to see a huge golden flash behind it as it twisted and turned on its way to the boat.  Monster browns are always what we are after when throwing streamers and this fish would definitely have qualified.  Unfortunately, I only got a quick glimpse of the fish before it vanished and it didn't reappear.  We moved on down the river, moving a a few fish and hooking up with some more nice rainbows. 

Photo courtesy David Perry


 Photo courtesy David Perry

 Photo courtesy David Perry

David P. had some new patterns he wanted to try when it was his turn to fish.  His new streamer was the hot fly for the day.  Even though I had the right color, his pattern still outfished mine for the most part.  Over the course of the float, he managed the Caney Fork slam and some skipjack, while I only caught rainbows and browns plus skipjack and that one crappie.  We were both surprised at the number and variety of fish that were chasing our streamers.

Photo courtesy David Perry




A few big browns came out to chase our streamers, but we couldn't get any truly large fish to commit.  As the shadows grew longer, the temperature started dropping to the point where we were getting ice in our guides.  We became more interested in making it to the take out than slowing down and thoroughly fishing every spot.  As we took the boat out, both of us agreed that it was one of the better days either of us have had in awhile. 

I'm hoping to get out again soon, perhaps to the mountains this time.  It will depend on how busy I am but I might manage to get away one day this weekend.  The Caney will be unfishable to all but those in boats for awhile.  Heavy rain this past weekend means that Center Hill is running 2+ generators and will be for some time.  We did our float just in the nick of time.  The generators came on as our day was winding down and haven't let up since.  I expect the river to fish very well once water levels come back down...

1 comment:

  1. Great looking float. Looks like you had a blast. Nice to see you're getting into fish during the winter. Thanks for sharing.

    Ben

    ReplyDelete

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