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

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tis the Season


Fish are starting to get fired up about streamers again. As we move into the colder months, streamers will be a great bet on tailwaters and mountain streams alike. The big browns are getting aggressive and will respond to streamers through the winter. The water temperature will determine the best method of presentation. On tailwaters, a fast retrieve is normally effective while in the mountains, the fish sometimes want the offering presented nearly dead drift...

This rainbow fell for an olive/pearl Zonker on the Caney last Friday. The fish hammered the fly and proceeded to give my 5 weight a workout. I was glad to have my big net handy. Photographing fish is much easier if you can protect the fish and keep it in the water until you are prepared to take the picture.


As far as the fishing goes, I caught a few small fish including a brookie and a brown. I also fished to a larger rising brown for a while but could never get it to eat. Overall the water clarity is marginal at best and I can't really recommend fishing the Caney for another month at least due to the clarity problems. The sluice gate will be in operation for some time until the temperatures come down and the dissolved oxygen levels from the generators improve. This, combined with the lake turning over soon, means that the clarity will continue to be an issue.

Right now, the hot place to be is the South Holston. Good numbers of nice fish are being caught, including some very nice fish to around 25 inches on streamers. The sulphurs are still hatching and the fall BWOs have started. Expect to find the BWO hatching best on cloudy days and the sulphurs will tend to be better on sunny days.

Water levels in the mountains are still low to extremely low. Until we get some substantial rain, fishing in the mountains will be tough at best. Fall hatches are coming on now in the mountains and should provide good fishing until we get consistently cold weather that brings stream temperatures down to winter time levels.


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