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

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Streamers Are Hot

The Caney was hot this past weekend with most all fisherman reporting good fishing.  I floated again with David Perry and the streamer bite was sick.  I started out at the casting brace with an agreement of changing every five fish.  A skipjack got things rolling but soon the nice rainbows started coming to the net.  Soon it was time to switch so I rowed while David P. fished.  After putting a few fish in the boat we switched again and found out just how good the fishing was. 

Fishing down a bank, I was literally getting a fish, follow, or strike on every cast.  The fish were all on the feed and couldn't get enough of our streamers.  Talking to several other fisherman, it appeared that lots of techniques were working well.  The only thing lacking was the big browns which didn't really every come out to play.  We did have a few follows and some hard strikes from fish we never saw, but at the end of the day, no large browns had been put in the net. 

One thing that was very exciting was the growth of the brookies.  The largest we boated was just under 14 inches and fat.  So far it seems that the brook trout are being stocked in decent numbers and are keeping away from the big browns.  There is plenty of food in the river and the fish are healthy.  If they can survive the summer we should be seeing a few in the 16 inch range this next fall. 

Hopefully the river will continue to fish well.  I have high hopes for the summer's fishing opportunities.  For now, the river is slowly getting healthier with a good range of fish sizes showing up to about 15-16 inches.  Hopefully the big browns will start showing up soon.  Regardless, it is still a good time to get out...

The following are several of the pictures from the day...

Photograph by David Perry 





Photograph by David Perry 

Photograph by David Perry 

Photograph by David Perry 


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Camping In Cades Cove

Rain.  Temps in the 30s and low 40s.  Camping.  Not normally a recipe for good camping, some friends and I decided to battle the elements as we were all free this past weekend.  We wanted to do a long hike in preparation for a trip to the Grand Canyon in another couple of weeks.  Amazingly, despite the bleak forecast, the weather actually turned out very well.  Friday night featured just some very light drizzle that quit once we set up camp.  Saturday turned out to be partly cloudy which meant we had some great views once we got to the higher elevations. 

For the most part the camera stayed in its case.  The light was a little weak, and I knew that the pictures I stored in my mind were much better than anything my camera could accomplish.  Our hike took us up the Anthony Creek Trail out of Cades Cove to the Bote Mountain Trail.  Ascending up to the AT, we then took a right turn and headed west for three miles.  In the process we took in views from Spence Field and Russell Field.  Our route back down was the Russell Field Trail which connected to the Anthony Creek trail.  Several hours and close to 15 miles later, we were back in camp, all a little sore, but everyone agreed that the hike was well worth it.

Sunday I planned to do a little fishing.  The morning dawned overcast and stayed that way up until we headed out of the Cove.  I was excited because the low light conditions increased the odds that some large browns would be out feeding.  Sadly, as we drove back down Laurel Creek Road towards Little River, the clouds thinned and soon broke completely.  The day turned out beautiful but not so good for fishing.  I still managed some small rainbows and even got a 14 inch brown to come attempt to eat.  Unfortunately I set the hook too early and missed out on pictures of the nice fish.


Hopefully I will be out fishing again soon, most likely on the Caney Fork this next weekend.  This is the time of year to be fishing streamers as much as possible on the tailwaters and I'll probably try to do that some...with a little luck, the big guys might come out and play...

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Warm Respite

After a great day of hiking this past Saturday, I knew that getting out on Sunday was definitely necessary.  The Smokies have been calling for weeks so I finally made the drive over with a couple of friends.  We planned on having a relaxed day with a little hiking, a little fishing, and most of all just enjoying the great outdoors. 

The drive over was uneventful.  After a stop to pick up some sandwiches for lunch we headed into the Park.  I stopped at a couple of favorite pools to look for big browns sitting out.  Sure enough, in the first place I checked a very nice fish was out feeding.  I watched for a good ten minutes but decided to leave it for the time being.  We drove on to Elkmont and started up the trail.  After hiking for a bit, we found a nice spot in the sun to hang out and eat lunch.


Naturally I was in a hurry to sample the fishing so I rigged up and headed a couple hundred feet downstream to fish back up.  The first several pockets and runs were seemingly devoid of life, but having fished often before in cold weather I knew that it was just a matter of time.  The dry flies weren't doing the trick like I had hoped so I switched over to a pair of nymphs.  Immediately the fish started to hit a Tellico and things progressed nicely.  The first fish came right where I had left my friends lounging on a rock, and the three runs immediately above were also good to me.




The rainbows are starting to color up for the spawn which should be starting soon.  The river was in excellent shape, and I expect the fishing to be great this spring.  Right now, it looks like old man winter will hang on for at least another two weeks.  I would bet that the second week in March is a good bet for the first big hatches, but of course it is only a guess. 



After the sun started sinking below the ridge, we headed back down the trail.  I stopped in a couple of spots to catch some more trout.  Everywhere I expected to find fish produced well for me.  The fish were glued to the bottom for the most part at this elevation, but a weighted nymph and a couple of split shot did the trick. 

We headed over to Cades Cove to finish off the day watching the sunset.  The cove was basking in the warm glow of a late winter sun and the spring peepers were singing their song.  We still have some cold days ahead, but weather like this starts to ignite spring fever for me.  I'm hoping to get out again over the next few days.  I've had a cold for days, but hopefully it will ease enough that I can get out soon.  I'm hoping to return to the Smokies so stay tuned for more...


Newsletter

Subscribe to the Trout Zone Anglers Newsletter!

* indicates required