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 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...


4 comments:

  1. That top pic is AWESOME! Good stuff.

    The Average Joe Fisherman

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  2. It sure looks good to see a stream that doesn't have three feet of snow along the bank.
    Those rainbows are beautiful

    ReplyDelete
  3. Middle TN Lee12:08 AM

    First off, great post and pictures as usual. I really enjoy your writing style and photography.

    Ok, have a few questions...what patterns do you typically fish with the tellico on your double nymph rigs? And do you use the tellico as the point/dropper? Also, do you use an indicator or no?

    And I would really enjoy a write up about some of your techniques/tips for spotting large feeding fish. That is something that I have been trying to work on.

    Thanks,

    Lee

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow, some great photography here!

    ReplyDelete

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