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

Monday, November 07, 2011

Ever Fish Lees Ferry?

Or anywhere on the Colorado for that matter?  If you have every fished Lees Ferry or the Colorado River downstream, the National Park Service is currently drafting its Glen Canyon Dam Long Term Experimental and Management Environmental Impact Statement.

Over the past few years, the Park Service has been working more and more to restore native species wherever possible.  In the Colorado River, this means trying to reverse the decline of the humpback chub to the detriment of the rainbow and brown trout in this amazing fishery.  Unfortunately, the problem with using means to remove the trout is that it completely ignores the fact that the Colorado River is an environment forever altered by Glen Canyon Dam. These fish would be struggling regardless of whether or not trout are in the river, because they are not used to the water chemistry and temperature now constantly flowing through the Grand Canyon.

As the EIS is being formulated, the public is encouraged to send in comments to help shape the document.  I have already sent in mine, obviously in support of the wild trout.  If Glen Canyon Dam was going to be removed, then I would not have a problem with managing the river for native species.  However, the fish that are flourishing are perfectly adapted to the new conditions.  Killing all the wild fish won't alter the fact that they are best suited to the cold clean water now flowing through the Canyon.

If you have ever enjoyed fishing or hope to fish Lees Ferry or the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon someday, I hope you will take a minute to send in your comments on this to the NPS.  Just let them know that you care about wild trout and that the environment is the problem for the native species, not the trout.

2 comments:

  1. David, way to go on bringing more exposure to this issue--the more folks that send comments to the NPS, the better. I will be submitting my comments to the site shortly--they actually mirror yours pretty closely!

    By the way, I think I will try to get into the Canyon within the next month, weather permitting, and revisit Bright Angel--I'll let you know how it goes...

    Iain

    ReplyDelete
  2. Iain,

    I just hope that everyone who cares about fishing this area will say something. I'm all for restoring native species if the environment can support them but this one just doesn't fall under that category short of getting rid of the dam...

    I'm really looking forward to hearing about how you do down at BA. I really wish I was planning another trip down there but doubt we will be able to this year...

    David Knapp

    ReplyDelete

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