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, 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...

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