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

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Teaching



As a teacher, I enjoy imparting knowledge and hopefully a little wisdom to young people.  Occasionally I get the pleasure of teaching more than just academic subjects.  Recently, the school I work for took our guys on an outing that included some time for them to swim, boat, or otherwise enjoy time on the lake.  Naturally I brought a fly rod along as well.  In years past, I have always had several guys that wanted to try out fly fishing.  As this small lake is private, it is the perfect place to allow them to try the sport without having to worry about such things as a fishing license. 

This year, three guys in particular wanted to try fly fishing.  By the end of the outing, it appears that I successfully did my job.  The guys were asking how much it would cost for them to buy fly fishing gear and where to go to purchase the equipment. 

I have a special pattern I tie specifically for fishing this pond although I use it anywhere I fish for bass and large sunfish.  After tying it on, I warmed up the rod for them by hooking a couple bluegills and a bass or two.  As soon as they were sufficiently enthusiastic, I passed the rod off to the first candidate. 

The first place I normally have someone try is where a culvert goes under the road, connecting a small, weed-filled section of the lake to the main body of water.  Bass will lay up in the deep cut waiting for any prey that happens to come by.  I placed the first guy close to the water and gave him just a few feet of line, showing him how to flip it out there and slowly retrieve it with small strips.  After mastering the presentation and retrieve, everything came together.  The fly slowly sank out of sight into the deep cut and suddenly the line twitched.  "Set!" I hollered, forgetting as always that a beginner normally has no clue what I mean by that.  Thankfully he got the idea and lifted the rod tip.  Soon, I lipped the best bass of the outing and we posed for a quick picture together.

 
The next guy up tried the other side of the culvert.  Almost as soon as the fly hit the water, it took off into some weeds were whatever had eaten promptly through this hook.  He was somewhat disappointed, but I assured him that, no worries, we still had plenty of good spots to hit. 

Next up we moved around to the dam.  Here, small indentations in the bank along with the proximity to deeper water give bass the sanctuary they need along with good options for feeding.  After helping him position, we moved to instruction on casting a bit further.  He picked it up like a natural and was soon casting the 15-20 feet necessary to catch fish.  Soon something slammed the fly and after a brief fight, we admired a nice chunky bluegill and posed for the required pictures.

 
The next guy took his place with the fly rod and we continued stalking bass.  Again, it only took a couple of tries for him to sufficiently master the art of fly casting to at least catch some fish.  The now standard twitch part way through his retrieve motivated a good hook set, and I soon lipped yet another bass. 


All three guys were thrilled with the experience.  Hopefully three more guys have been inspired to take up the hobby of fly fishing. 

2 comments:

  1. I've always said that learning fly fishing is one thing, but it's the catching that'll hook new students of the sport.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Pat, I agree whole-heartedly. When I introduce someone to the sport, I prefer to fish under relatively easy conditions or for an easy to catch species. None of these guys had to cast more than 15 times to catch their fish...

    ReplyDelete

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