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

Friday, February 24, 2012

Hatches



Go fishing now!!!  The first early spring hatches continue to happen pretty much daily over in the Smokies.  Some nice fish have been caught on dry flies for the fishermen willing to work hard and find those wary browns. 

Currently, bugs are hatching from near Townsend to up past Elkmont, but on the warmest days, the hatches are actually coming off pretty early.  Larger fish will be easiest to catch on those days that keep all but the diehards off the water.  Right now, the crowds are heavy on good days meaning you may be fishing used water.  Thankfully, during hatches at least, you can still catch fish even on "used" water.  This is the best time to fish if you are a relative Smokies novice as fly selection can be as simple as tying on a Parachute Adams.  However, closer inspection will often reveal the fish to be taking Blue Quills or Black Caddis in various stages. 

On a recent trip, I found a good hatch early in the day that dwindled to just a few stray bugs by early afternoon.  During the hatch, the dry fly action was fast and furious.  Before moving to another spot, I found a nice brown rising and got it to nail the dry.  The first cast produced one of the most stressful refusals I have ever had as the fish rocketed out of nowhere just beneath the fly only to vanish just as quickly.  The second cast must have been a better drift and a beautiful brown was soon posing for a quick photo.

 

The rainbows are fatter than I ever remember seeing a Smokies trout.  The high water that has kept the tailwaters off limits to wade fishermen has done wonders for the fish in the Park.  The warm winter probably helped as well.  Anyway, I expect the next few months to produce some of the best fishing in the Smokies in the last 10 years.  As soon as the tailwaters become fishable we should see similar epic fishing on them as well.  Get ready for a great fishing year!!!





4 comments:

  1. Oh David you are making me very wistful. We have to wait until our close season finishes. All Fools' Day is 33 days away but I have it all planned, it will be great. How could it be otherwise?

    Your photo at the bottom reminds me of the upper reaches of the river I fish most days in the season - the Derbyshire Wye.

    Regular Rod

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  2. Regular Rod, everytime someone tells me about living in a place with closed seasons it makes me glad that I don't have to worry about such things. Is your closed season mostly tradition that is now law or is it also just too cold?

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  3. David,

    Beautiful photos and great report. Looks like fun to be fooling those fish with dries. Looking forward to your spring break trip report too.

    Ben

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  4. Hi David!

    Really beautiful photos! Unfortunately I'm still waiting for the ice to melt a little more on the rivers and brooks to be able to go fly fishing. That comes with living in a place that can have nasty winters. Your photos and the stories of nice fly fishing makes it itch in my right arm longing for the opportunity to cast a fly or two.

    Have fun fly fishing and thanks for sharing the joy you experience,
    Mats Olsson

    ReplyDelete

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