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, October 05, 2011

Fishing For Me


After an evening of teaching, what I really wanted to do was to explore the small lake for myself, so the next day I snuck off for an hour on the water. 

When I got there, the sun was sinking fast in the western sky and the fish were on the feed.  I started with the same fly pattern that I was teaching the guys with (more on this simple strategy for bass later).  My first cast produced a bass and I was off and running.


As I progressed around the lake, I caught fish in most places where the guys had the previous evening.  Some new spots proved interesting as well when I noticed some monster bass (no joke, one was probably in the 7-9 pound range) up feeding on baitfish against the bank.  These bass know how to chase the small fish up against the bank and then pound them unmercifully. 

In one spot the previous evening, one of the guys kept hooking up only to have the fish (we never saw it to know what it was) race off into the weeds.  I was determined to catch whatever "it" was.  Dropping my fly in with anticipation, I jigged it twice and then watched the line dart towards the weeds again.  Putting as much pressure as I dared, I soon muscled a nice bluegill out of the heavy cover. 


As the evening wore on, I fished as late as I dared without a light.  The bass and bluegill just kept hitting and the big fish were making their rounds along the banks.  Finally I knew I better head back.  I'll be looking for an opportunity to go back though.  These fish are just too much fun...


3 comments:

  1. That's a big ol' panfish. Very cool...

    Ben

    ReplyDelete
  2. The bluegill pic of it's silhouette is awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Beast of a blue gill!

    ReplyDelete

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