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

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Big Terrestrials

David Perry Photograph

Fly fisherman in middle Tennessee have experienced the pinnacle of terrestrial fishing here in the southeast this summer.  The cicadas have been nothing short of spectacular as the 13 year periodic cicada hatch produced many opportunities to take large fish on dry flies.  I never got on the big browns like some people but caught nice browns and rainbows up to 19 inches.  The carp fishing was insane, and I finally figured out why some people are so enamored with this species. 

I floated the Caney a few times including a couple of trips with David Perry who has spent the summer putting clients onto big fish using dry flies on multiple area tailwaters.  The first trip was absolutely incredible but it was the carp fishing that really got us excited.  Early in the float David P. nailed a big brown that was 22 inches on a cicada.  That got our hopes up for more big fish, but the next few hours were slow with just a handful of fish to the net.


As we moved further down the river, we started seeing large fish cruising the dead water along the banks and feeding on the surface.  My first cast to one of these surface feeders was long, probably 60 feet, but the fly landed on target and the fish sipped the big cicada pattern.  Upon feeling the steel, the fish promptly ran into a tangled mass of logs and broke the 4x like nothing.  Since then I've used nothing lighter than 3x.

Thankfully that wasn't the end of my day.  Continuing down the river, I soon got another shot at a carp and shortly had my first ever carp pictures.  David P. wanted in on the action so I rowed for awhile while he fished to more rising carp.  Neither of us had ever experienced anything quite like it and were having a blast. 

My largest fish of the day came late when we were getting close to the take out.  A nice fish swirled in the deepening shadows along the bank.  The cast was right where I wanted it and the fish pushed a wake as it came to investigate.  The fly disappeared in a swirl and the fight was on.  I knew immediately that this fish was in a different class than the ones we had been catching.  As I fought the carp up and down the river, David P. rowed after the fish, providing a great opportunity to actually land the beast.  Finally we neared the shallows, and I jumped out to beach the big carp as there as no chance of it fitting in the net. 

David Perry Photograph

Another float with David P. was fairly slow for trout but that was because we weren't really targeting them.  That's right!  The carp were so much fun that we spent time intentionally targeting them even when trout were around and available.  The one trout I got on that float was memorable because I nailed it before we even started floating.  David P. was parking the truck and I decided to see if any fish were hungry.  On the third cast an 18 inch brown took my offering.  My day was complete at that point so I volunteered for rowing duty and enjoyed just being on the water.  Later on we enjoyed chasing carp again.  Fishing for them is addicting enough that I will now purposefully try to catch one when I get the chance...

David Perry Photograph

Two other days I made it down to the river on my own and both times I had excellent fishing.  The Caney is fishing well although it will seem really slow now that the cicadas are basically done.  Large trout don't show up as often when the game consists of nymphs and midges but its good to know they are in there.



The Caney should continue to fish well assuming that there is enough cold water in the lake to last through fall.  The recent heavy generation may start letting up soon although the heavy traffic on the river makes fishing it a less than appealing proposition. 

I will probably be spending more time fishing for warmwater species over the next few weeks although my time on the water will be limited.  More time will be devoted to tying in preparation for my trip to Yellowstone in late July and early August.  I still have some reports to do here as well and have more articles in the works so I definitely have plenty to keep me busy...



3 comments:

  1. Wow...great looking fish. Love those big browns and the carp. Nice work...

    Ben

    ReplyDelete
  2. sweet fishing david, i love the carp

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks guys! The carp were sure a surprise that we weren't expecting on that trip but really made our day...

    ReplyDelete

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