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, March 21, 2012

More Firsts! Getting Started with Everglades Fishing

On the trip to the Everglades, I was excited about my second taste of saltwater fishing.  Knowing very little about fishing the salt, I decided that I wanted to catch snook.  Why snook in particular?  People have explained snook to me as the brown trout of the saltwater.  That made sense and helped me understand what to do. 

Snook are ambush predators, lurking around mangrove roots and waiting for baitfish to come by.  Brown trout lay just out of current and I figured snook might do the same.  The second day of the trip dawned bright and promised to be very warm.  We loaded the canoes and I strung the fly rod together, deciding to start with a white stealth bomber (tricked out with flash and rubber legs).  I'm learning to really appreciate the noise making ability of this fly.  Furthermore, it dives and swoons in the water, looking just like a struggling baitfish or something else that is edible.

As we got under way with the day's paddle, I really wanted to get my first fish out of the way so I could relax.  Not knowing what else to do, I started thinking in terms of brown trout.  Paddling towards a creek that led to the next large bay, I noticed the tide had started moving in.  The current was moving around a distinct point just ahead, creating a seam between fast and slow water.  "Perfect," I thought and picked up the rod to cast. 

Amazingly, it only took about 5 casts to get that first fish.  As I fought it closer to the boat I saw that it was a snook!  Not a large fish, but a snook nonetheless.  Two years ago, estimates say that 70% of the snook in the Glades area were killed by the extremely cold winter.  I knew that meant the majority of the fish I did find would be smaller fish.  Since I've never caught any, I didn't care if they were small or large.  I was just happy to be catching fish.

Catherine McGrath Photograph 

Shortly after the snook, I found a school of ladyfish and had fun catching a few before it was time to paddle on.  As the trip wore on, I would become frustrated with the ladyfish because they were hard to keep off my flies.  Still, it is better to be catching something than to be going fishless...

Catherine McGrath Photograph

More fishing opportunities awaited deeper in the Everglades.  But in the meantime we had a brutal paddle ahead to reach our next campsite.  I put down the fly rod, not to take it up again until evening.

6 comments:

  1. Interesting. I always caught Snook on live bait, but I guess they take a fly just as well.

    Mark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mark, I'll bet you caught some big fish that way. What sorts of live bait did you use?

      Delete
  2. What kind of rod/leader/fly etc are you using?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Matthew, I was using a 7 weight TFO TiCr-X with a floating line. Approximately 9 foot leader of my own devising along with 30 pound fluoro as a bite guard. The fly of choice was a white Stealth Bomber...

    ReplyDelete

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