Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 10/17/2018

Fishing continues to be good to excellent in the Great Smoky Mountains of east Tennessee. 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 Yellow Quills are still hanging on in the mid to high elevation brook trout water although not for long. October caddis (more properly, great autumn sedges) are hatching in good numbers now on the North Carolina side of the Park and just starting on the Tennessee side. Terrestrials still have a place in your fly box as well although they are definitely winding down for the year. 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. Brook trout are still eating smaller yellow dry flies as well. 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 hoping to get some type of a report for there soon. 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 are holding off for 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. 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 and one or two in October. 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, February 22, 2012

Winter Turns To Spring

Rarely can one go hiking and hike to a destination in winter but return in spring. No, I'm not talking about the technicalities of when the calendar says the season has changed, but rather a snowfall so beautiful, so magical, and yet so fleeting, that if it weren't for the pictures I probably would assume the whole experience was just a pleasant dream. 

Hiking in the Smokies is never a guarantee, and in fact, I was not sure on this trip if we would be able to access our preferred trailhead.  Upon discovering the road open we were all excited.  When I found undisturbed snow on the trail, I was ecstatic.  Being the first person through the woods after a fresh snowfall is something I would like to do more often, especially on popular hikes where you will rarely find the trail completely devoid of strangers.

 
Our goal on this day was Ramsey Cascade.  On the previous trip, my friend had a near death experience that could have been a lot worse than it really was.  This time we were hoping for less wind and a safe journey.  The trail ascends through the forest, never far from the nearby Middle Prong of the Little Pigeon River.  At times you can see the stream while at others the trail is high on the hillside above the gorge and the water below is camouflaged behind layers of Smoky Mountain forest.


Before leaving our van, I happened to glance in the side door window and saw a reflection of the magical wintry forest around me. 


Heading on up the trail brought deepening snow yet never too much for pleasant hiking.  The sun started rising above the steep ridges and at times peeked through the trees, the snow sparkling as the sun's rays touched it for the first time.

 
We made good time and even stopped long enough to find the exact same log that hit my friend last April.  We jokingly took a couple of pictures, recalled how thankful we should be, and continued on our way.


Moving higher through the forest, we found the banks of streams cloaked under the new snowfall.  Further up the stream, the sun was now striking the canopy and its blinding light added a bit of mystery to our pictures.


Finally, we reached our destination.  Cold air was still rushing down the gorge and we quickly started to feel the chill.  Standing around after a brisk hike in cold air makes everything seem colder than it really is.  Accordingly we began the return trek much sooner than we would during warmer seasons.


 
Moving back down the mountain was interesting.  The snow was now in full melting mode, both falling off the trees (and usually down the back of my neck) and vanishing from the surface of the forest floor.  By the time we made it back down the Middle Prong proper, only a dusting remained on the shady side of the stream.


Everyone made it back in good time and even better spirits.  We were amazed at our good fortune to hike in such a beautiful place at just the right time!





 

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:29 PM

    Loved the story and the pictures. Beautiful! What an enjoyable hike!

    ReplyDelete

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