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, October 13, 2011

Fall On Little River



Fall break has arrived and with it I now have time to go fishing. Yesterday I kicked off the break with a trip to Little River to chase the browns. The water was up just enough to get the bugs hatching and the fish feeding.

I was not as interested in hatches of BWOs and Yellow Quills though. My main objective was big brown trout and with that in mind, I promised myself that I would give streamers a fair chance before changing my rig.

The sun was just rising as I arrived and rigged up. My first choice was a small streamer that has been effective on small stream smallmouth the last couple of years. After thoroughly working the first pool, I was just about to try another spot when I made one last cast. Immediately a little brown nailed it and the day was off and running.



For the next few hours, I caught several browns up to around 12 inches. The big ones eluded me though and in fact, I never really spotted any true giants. The largest fish I definitely saw was around 17-18 inches at most.  Sometimes it seems the river is devoid of large trout, and then you go another time and you spot big fish everywhere.  That's just part of the game.  Putting in your time on the water is the surest way to start finding these elusive fish and maybe even catching one.




Despite the lack of big trout, it was still a perfect day to be out, and I took full advantage of the overcast skies and feeding trout. The rainbows were on the feed as well, and when I changed to a double nymph rig later in the day, my catch quickly diversified.  A beautiful 12 inch rainbow came out of water where I was honestly expecting a large brown.  I can't complain though because a twelve in rainbow in the Park is not too common.

 
This time of year is my favorite, and not just for the fishing. The colors were awesome, and I took a few pictures to remind myself later of how beautiful the day was.  Once winter arrives with its grey skies and dreary days, I will look back and remember these perfect fall days and the great fishing they provided. 









6 comments:

  1. Where is this river located? Is it actually called Little River?

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  2. Little River is the actual name. It is on the Tennessee side of the Great Smoky Mountains...

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  3. I am quite jealous David, but glad that you had a great trip. I really need to work on my small stream technique again. Also hate that you can't make the SoHo camping trip, I will let you know how it goes afterward.

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  4. Looks like a great spot. Thanks for the post. Nice fish photos.

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  5. David
    The Smokies is a special place in the fall not only for the colors but the trout too. thanks for sharing

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  6. This post makes me miss the Smokies in autumn.

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