Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 11/1/2018

Fishing is good in the Smokies and other mountain streams if you can catch it on a day where the wind is minimal. Otherwise, expect lots of leaves in the water for the next few days. Delayed harvest streams are also being stocked and fishing well in east Tennessee and western North Carolina.

In the Smokies, fall bugs are in full swing. We have been seeing blue-winged olives almost daily although they will hatch best on foul weather days. They are small, typically running anywhere from #20-#24 although a few larger ones have also shown up. A few October Caddis are still around as well. Terrestrials are close to being done for the year although we are still seeing a few bees and hornets near the stream. Isonychia nymphs, caddis pupa, and BWO nymphs will get it done for your subsurface fishing. Have some October Caddis (#12) and parachute BWO patterns (#18-#22) for dry flies and you should be set. Not interested in matching the hatch? Then fish a Pheasant Tail nymph under a #14 Parachute Adams. That rig can catch fish year round in the Smokies.

Brook and brown trout are now moving into the open to spawn. During this time of year, please be extremely cautious about wading through gravel riffles and the tailouts of pools. If you step on the redd (nest), you will crush the eggs that comprise the next generation of fish. Please avoid fishing to actively spawning fish and let them do their thing in peace.

Our tailwaters are still cranking although the Caney is finally starting to come down. I'm still hoping to get a firsthand report on the Caney Fork soon although it might be sometime next week or the week after before that happens at the earliest. Stay tuned for more on that. Fishing will still be slow overall with limited numbers of fish in that particular river unfortunately.

The Clinch is featuring high water as they try to catch up on the fall draw down. All of the recent rainfall set them back in this process but flows are now going up to try and make up some of the time lost. It is still fishing reasonably well on high water although we prefer the low water of late fall and early winter as it is one of our favorite times to be on the river.

Smallmouth are about done for the year with the cooler weather we are now experiencing. I caught a few yesterday on the Tennessee River while fishing with guide Rob Fightmaster, but overall the best bite is all but over. Our thoughts will be turning to musky soon, however. Once we are done with guide trips for the year, we'll be spending more time chasing these monsters.

In the meantime, we still have a few open dates in November. Feel free to get in touch with me if you are interested in a guided trip. Thanks!

Photo of the Month: Fishing in Paradise

Photo of the Month: Fishing in Paradise

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Yellowstone: The Fishing

Better late than never right?  I realized that in the rush of teaching this last fall, I never finished posting about Yellowstone.  While I have enough pictures to last for several years of posting, I will keep the old trip reports to a minimum while still telling the rest of the story about Yellowstone.  The fishing was, well, let's just say a little unusual.  The great water last summer meant that my normal late July and early August expectations weren't met but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing! 

My fishing focused mainly on the Gibbon and Trout Lake.  The Gibbon because we camped at Norris and Trout Lake because we took a couple of hikes there for photography purposes.  Convenience was the name of the game.  On a trip where fishing was definitely not a primary goal, I was fortunate to still get out on the water a fair amount.  Early mornings and some late evenings were ideal times to sneak away and fish the upper Gibbon through the meadows by Norris Campground.  The setup was made even sweeter by the fact that we were just entering the prime terrestrial months and the Gibbon contains a healthy population of brown trout (at least for now).

 

Early mornings were spent probing cut banks, deep bend pools, log jams, and any other fishy looking structure for chunky browns.  The best brown of the trip required some effort to catch which is as it should be.  It first showed itself when it flashed out from under an undercut bank about 20 feet below a nice bend pool.  Just before annihilating my fly it must have got a glimpse of me lurking nearby, responding by slamming its mouth shut and vanishing back under the bank.  The next couple of days featured early morning visits back to "the spot," but I failed to get another glimpse of the fish. 

Finally, the time seemed right.  By this time my cousin, his wife, and another friend and his wife had joined us in the next campsite over.  As everyone else was just getting around to thinking about breakfast I announced that I was going to catch that fish.  Having laid it all on the line, I had to endure a gauntlet of good-natured jokes as I headed down to the water, "You mean like you went and caught it yesterday?  Or how about the day before?"  My response was to remind them that I never actually said I was going to catch the fish on those other days. 

With my fishing reputation at stake, I decided to do everything right.  This meant crawling along the stream at least 7-8 feet back from the bank and only raising the rod high enough to toss my offering out.  Finally, right in the deep bend cut 20 feet above the spot where the fish first was spotted, the fish struck.

My fly had just smacked the water when a golden brown flash engulfed the pattern.  On this particular morning breakfast bit back and the fish was soon in my net for the necessary picture so everyone would believe my fish story.  A friend had followed me down and did the honors with my camera. 



Not all fishing featured brown trout.  Even though I love browns, I enjoy catching other trout as well.  One of my favorite locations in Yellowstone is Trout Lake.  The resident rainbows, cutthroat, and cutbows can grow to ridiculous sizes.  Past trips to Trout Lake have resulted in rainbows up to 24 inches being landed.  This past summer that was not meant to happen.  I did see one gargantuan rainbow cruising on one of our forays to the lake, but it was spooky, and I never got a good cast over it. 

The cutthroat were another story.  The inlet was filled with spawning fish and plenty more were stacked up just below in the deep water.  This area is off limits to fishing and rightfully so.  The fish have enough stress to face with the lake's otter population.  There were just enough nice fish out and about cruising the shoreline to keep me interested without making things too easy.  As always, it was not easy to trick one of these fish but when I did it seemed like a bit of an accomplishment.  A float tube would be the best way to fish this lake, but I made do with what I had.


 

The fishing was fun, but the real fun on this trip was the wildlife viewing.  I caught browns, cutthroat, and brook trout which are always a treat but in the end, the trip will be remembered mostly because of the scenery and experience that is Yellowstone. 

3 comments:

  1. Anonymous1:49 PM

    Man i sure wish I was there with you. I truly do enjoy trout fishing and that seems like the place to be.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Rick, it is definitely one of the top places to be! If you haven't been I highly recommend taking a trip there...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nice Post, Amazing fish.

    ReplyDelete

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