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, March 10, 2011

Suppressing the Pain

Training began to hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon a few months ago.  Our group did several long hikes together, including a few with as much elevation gain and loss as you can come up with here in Tennessee.  Nothing here in this part of the country can prepare you for the grueling hike into the Grand Canyon however.



We started out the hike fresh and excited to reach our destination.  The deep snow at the top cloaked the rim and upper canyon walls in a blanket of white, giving us views that many people don't get the opportunity to see when they visit the Grand Canyon.  The various shades of sandstone contrasted beautifully with the gleaming snow.  As we reached the edge of the rim to begin hiking, the clouds were slowly breaking up to reveal the icy blue sky behind, adding more color to the scene.  Shafts of sunlight split the air above the canyon illuminating our destination below and then fading again as the clouds moved by.



Catherine McGrath Photograph

The upper trail was in great shape due to the fresh snowfall.  Instead of layers of filthy mud where the mules had been trampling the trail, the fresh blanket of snow provided the perfect hiking surface.  By the time we had descended to Indian Garden however, we had dropped below the snow line.  The first three miles or so of trail soon gave way to mud in abundance.  Below Indian Garden the trail was in great shape again though.  The trail was firm instead of muddy. 





As we descended the Devil's Corkscrew, quickly losing altitude as we closed in on the river, our muscles began to burn with the unaccustomed hiking.  By the time we reached the river, everyone was sore to some degree.  Thankfully, my heavy pack never really bothered me too much.  Occasional adjustments kept my hips and shoulders comfortable for the most part.  Finally, after several twists and turns along a small creek, the trail emerged at the Colorado River.  Our excitement was soon tempered by the realization that we still had to hike a mile or so before reaching camp.  Still, the worst of the trail was behind us and we closed in on camp as the light was fading. 


Catherine McGrath Photograph




We reached camp before dark and quickly pitched tents and got settled in before full dark came on.  Soon members of our group were spotting various animals running around in the deepening shadows including foxes and even a ringtail.  Our food was safely secured in the ammo boxes provided for that purpose.  While hiking we didn't have time to be sore.  The views did a magnificent job of suppressing the pain, or at least distracting us enough so we didn't notice.  However, once in camp, we took Ibuprofen to ease the pain in our legs, and after a good supper, we all went to bed to sleep the sleep of exhaustion.  The next two days would be packed with adventure, and we needed plenty of rest to prepare for the good times ahead...

3 comments:

  1. Loving it so far and looking forward to seeing some of those gorgeous trout from the bottom of that Canyon. Thanks for sharing.

    Ben

    ReplyDelete
  2. James Marsh1:05 PM

    I know, you couldn't help it, could you. You just had to do it, didn't you. You just had to make me jealous. Well, you did a good job of it. I'm jealous.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ben,

    Glad you're enjoying it...this was an awesome trip and I'm enjoying reliving it as I recall the events...

    James,

    Bright Angel is a place I'm sure you would really enjoy. The hike down was brutal though...it really made riding a mule down sound attractive, especially by the time we arrived in camp all sore and tired...

    David Knapp

    ReplyDelete

Newsletter

Subscribe to the Trout Zone Anglers Newsletter!

* indicates required