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, December 12, 2011

Memories: Part 1

A thread started today on the Little River Outfitters Message Board started me thinking about fly fishing memories.  I'm going to start sharing some of my favorite fishing related memories.  For starters, here's one about a brown trout and a boy with a fly rod. 

Before I even understood how to go about catching any trout, I dreamed of catching big browns. Early in my fly fishing career, I was doing good to scare up a small rainbow or two, but that didn't stop me from hoping for something more special.

One day, my dad (who usually drove me to the park to fish) had taken me fishing. He never actually fished but was the first one to take me fishing when I was 4 or 5 and almost the only one who ever took me before I was able to drive myself. This particular day was a beautiful early June day. We had explored several areas, but I was not having particularly good luck with just a few small rainbows to hand (from Tremont if I remember correctly).

As sunset was approaching, we stopped at one last pullout, this time on Little River. My dad was tired and decided to stay in the car. When I started driving myself, I came to understand why people would be tired late in the day, but at this point I was blissfully unaware. I trekked down a dim but short path to the stream and began tossing a yellow Stimulator.

I worked my way to the head of the pool and was casting in the pocket immediately above the main hole when I first saw the flash of gold. A nice brown came out and circled furiously around my fly before disappearing back under the white froth. Two more casts produced similar results and then the brown seemed to have vanished for good. Desperate measures would be needed.

Recalling how I had enticed a big Abrams Creek rainbow by dancing the fly on the surface during a hatch, I contemplated a similar trick. The big Stimulator was soon skittering across the surface and almost immediately the brown reappeared, charging through the water towards my now tantalizing fly. One last mighty twitch brought the intended result. I was now attached to what I then viewed as a monster.

Carefully battling the fish down through the pool, I finally brought it close enough to land. The 14 inch brown was heavier than many similar sized fish I have since caught. I will always remember that first nice brown even though I now dream of fish measured in pounds and reaching well over twenty inches. That fish was a major accomplishment to me as I am mostly self-taught, and at this point in my fishing career wondered if I would ever catch anything over 10 inches.

I have many other amazing memories from the Park. In fact, that is one thing that I love so much about it. Every trip gives me a special memory, and that is the way it should be. As soon as it becomes common or everyday, then it will no longer be the magical place that it should. I still get excited the night before a fishing trip and hope that will never change...

1 comment:

  1. David
    Don’t ever lose that zeal to keep going out there and landing monster browns. I like the fact that you were self taught. That tells me that you had that passion and will at an early age to accomplish this great sport on your own. I have been fishing most of my life and still go forward to every trip I make. It never gets old or boring. Thanks for sharing a great post with everyone.

    ReplyDelete

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