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, April 26, 2011

Ramsey Cascades Near Death Experience


Ramsey Cascades has been on my must-do list of hikes for a long time.  While camping a week and a half ago, I finally made the somewhat strenuous trek to the falls.  Several friends as well as my cousin allowed themselves to be talked into joining me on the hike.  We headed up the trail with the knowledge that we were racing time.  Storms were forecast and we didn't want to get caught out in the weather. 

The hike up was tiring but uneventful.  The cascade was actually much better than I anticipated.  We spent plenty of time relaxing and taking pictures.  I found some nice angles but ultimately the higher water of spring prevented me from getting to all the spots I wanted to take pictures from.  The stream below the cascade was as picturesque as the falls so I was happy to spend time with my camera.








After resting, eating lunch, and filtering some water, we started back down the trail.  The wind was increasing and several trees fell in the woods above us.  One section of trail was completely buried in the rubble of a rotten tree that had fallen minutes before we passed.  The crash reverberated through the forest, making us increasingly nervous.  The size of the tree that fell convinced us that the best thing we could do was to get out of the woods as soon as possible.  After having one member of our party pose in the debris for pictures, we quickly moved on.

Nathan Stanaway Photograph

Shortly after, one of my friends decided to jog ahead.  As we came around a bend, we found her lying in the middle of the trail.  Since she had just posed in the trail for pictures, we figured she was joking.  As we got closer, we started making comments like "nice job," and "comfortable down there?"  Then we noticed the large limb next to hear and someone bent closer and spotted blood on her face.

  Nathan Stanaway Photograph

Nathan Stanaway Photograph

My cousin is a paramedic and immediately went into work mode.  He made a quick assessment, and thankfully she was responsive.  Apparently, she was jogging down the trail when a huge gust broke a limb out of a tree.  All she knows is that she felt a jolting blow to the head and collapsed in the trail.  She was groggy for several minutes and had a headache for days but otherwise seems to be fine.  I made the best of an otherwise bad situation by taking an amusing "guide/client" shot with the limb.  As you can see, it was very large and had to have fallen from at least 30 feet up.  It is really a miracle that she was not hurt any worse.  God was definitely watching out for her.  Finally we helped her to her feet and continued down the trail but at a much slower pace.

  Nathan Stanaway Photograph

Thankfully the worst of the rain held off until we were in camp.  A quick stop for donuts lifted our spirits despite the gloomy weather.  Back in camp we fixed a hot supper and then went to bed...the next day would have more adventures and we needed plenty of rest...

Friday, April 22, 2011

High Water 'Bow

Last weekend in the Smokies was difficult from a "standard" fishing perspective.  The streamers were fun, but Sunday was supposed to be a day to take some friends fishing.  We were hoping to fish dry flies or nymphs so we headed for the West Prong of Little River to find some fishable water.  The West Prong always drains out a little faster since it is a small stream with few feeders. 

We found some pools that were at a perfect level for fishing nymphs.  Everyone tried something a little different, but in the end the fish did not care.  I caught fish on a Tellico and on a Red Copper John.  The last rainbow was a nice sized fish for a Smokies small stream.  It was very acrobatic, putting on quite an airshow.  This 'bow was the perfect end to a nice weekend in the Park. 

Catherine McGrath Photograph

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spring!!!

The dogwoods definitely signal spring here in Tennessee.  Last weekend the trees in the Smokies were in full bloom.  I finally found some overlooking Little River that made a beautiful picture.  The early morning sun was illuminating the forest in the distance...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Streamer Action Hot

Last weekend's high water event in the Smokies brought the browns out to play.  I almost didn't find out until too late, but got in on the streamer action before things returned to normal.  Lots of fish followed my fly and several hit as well.  Only one actually got its mouth around the big Clouser though. 

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Troubled Montana

Apparently special interests have convinced the politicians of Montana to override the wishes of the state's residents.  The state legislature passed a cyanide leach mining bill so now the best we can hope for is the governor to veto the bill.  Tom Chandler over at the Trout Underground is keeping up with the latest developments.  If you read further on his blog there are several other posts referring to the topic.  Educate yourself and then contact the Montana governor via email (email link on the Trout Underground post). 

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Smallmouth Fishing Compromised

Those who enjoy fishing the Little Pigeon in Sevierville and Pigeon Forge for smallies may want to wait awhile before heading to the river.  Apparently there was a major sewage spill upriver at Gatlinburg...guess I won't be targeting smallmouth there anytime soon...

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