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, January 31, 2011

Transitional Water

Nope, this is not a post about reading water or discovering how to find fish when they are moving between water types.  Instead, remember your second grade science lessons when you learned about the difference between water in its solid and liquid forms. 

The extended cold weather finally gave way to warmer temperatures.  One of the great aspects of living in the mid-south is that we normally get a reprieve from the cold weather on occasion throughout the winter.  This past weekend saw highs soaring into the low 60s, meaning that all the snow and ice we've experienced this winter has largely melted.  Still, in sheltered gorges, large ice formations remain to remind us that the icy grip of winter is not far away. 

I hiked with a group of friends at Colditz Cove State Natural Area.  This was my second time there, and I spent more time with the camera than compared to the previous trip.  The water on the sides of the gorge was in a transitional stage.  The ice was glistening as it softened up but without completely melting all the way.  The late afternoon light was incredible as well, often combining with the natural elements of rock and ice to create beautiful compositions that I only feebly attempted to capture. 

The following are a few of my favorite pictures from the hike.  Some are all about light, others all about texture, and a few display interesting shapes front and center.  The best combine all these elements...

This ice formation was almost shaped like a claw.  The smooth texture was the result of the warm temperatures slowly melting the ice.


 The same ice formation contrasts nicely against the warm light on the roof of the overhanging rock.


The centerpiece of the hike, Northrup Falls, plunges over 60 feet to a turqouise pool below. 


A lone plant clings to the moss covered wall of the gorge. 


The shapes here intrigued the geometry teacher within. The color and texture of the sandstone is beautiful as well...

This fallen tree provided the perfect base for an unusual ice accumulation.


So is this what a squirrel sees when it climbs a tree?


Curtains of ice glisten as they hang on the canyon walls.

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