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

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Slowing Down

Have you ever been on vacation only to realize that everything is still moving way too fast?  Often I find that I don't really start to slow down and relax until the third day of a trip, and so it was in the Everglades. 

Normally on trips, I use my camera to document as many experiences as possible.  Part of the joy for me is in the photography itself, not to mention that it's nice to be able to look back on the trip in a tangible way sometimes.  In the Everglades, I didn't even take out my camera until the second day on the water, and then only for a couple of pictures.  By the third morning, I woke up relaxed and refreshed (finally, I might add) and immediately set to work using my camera.

The morning quickly turned stormy as a powerful cold front, responsible for a major tornado outbreak in the Tennessee and Ohio valleys a couple of days earlier, was bearing down on south Florida.  The good news?  The wind would finally be at our backs, making paddling a joy instead of a painful chore.  The bad news?  Storms were forecasted.  Thankfully, one storm cell went to our east, and another skirted off to the west, but we only received a five minute shower with occasional sprinkles the rest of the day. 

Arriving at our home for the next two nights, a campsite called Lostmans Five, we set about drying wet gear from the morning rains.  After quickly pitching my tent, I grabbed the camera to document our camp and everyone else still putting up tents and organizing gear.



Lostmans Five is a great little campsite that picks up any west or northwest breeze off of Lostmans Five bay. The campsite is a ground site, but a raised wooden platform covers the camping area since the low ground is prone to being muddy.  An outhouse is perched on the end of the small dock, leaving one to wonder what happens when a hurricane comes through.  Thankfully it wasn't hurricane season so we felt relatively safe using the facilities.

Sitting on the end of the dock, I drank in the scenery.  Occasionally birds would fly by across the bay and the water itself was mesmerizing.  I could watch the gentle waves for hours, although exploring sounded pretty good as well. 


That evening, we paddled up Lostmans Creek a few hundred yards and then drifted back down with the tidal current.  I  had brought the fly rod along and fishing the current felt just like drifting down a tailwater throwing streamers for trout.  Ladyfish were very prevalent in this wild 'Glades stream and finally, right around a point in a textbook ambush spot, I found another snook.  This one was a little nicer than my first...

Catherine McGrath Photograph

A beautiful sunset lit up the sky.  The clouds had long since cleared out as the front was now well south of the area.  We fixed something to eat, and appreciated the relative absence of mosquitoes from the area.  Finally we all went to bed, thinking about paddling east into the wild Everglades the next morning.



4 comments:

  1. Looks like a great trip! Love the way the campsite is tucked in...and nice fish! Really nice photos, too!

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  2. Thanks! This was probably my favorite campsite of the trip although camping on the beach later was pretty cool also...

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  3. I hope you ate one of those Snook. A very good tasting fish. One nice thing about rain in Florida, it can be raining across the street, but not where you are and if you do get wet, you're dry in a half hour or so.

    Mark

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mark, did not eat any of the fish. Did not know they tasted good but something to remember for later...

    ReplyDelete

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