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

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Soooooo Tired

Every year it gets more difficult and yet I still continue to start, and often finish, epic trips with no where near enough sleep.  The trip to the Everglades was no exception.  We planned well in advance that to maximize time on the water, we should leave Thursday afternoon as soon as school let out for break.  Somehow, I usually end up driving on these long trips.  So when my driving shift came up around 1:30 at night and I hadn't really slept on the way down yet, I figured I might as well get comfortable and settle in for the long haul. 

Hours and many miles later, I was cruising through the gradually awakening world southwest of Orlando.  We had dropped a friend off there, and while it was slightly out of the way, we made it through early enough that it didn't really slow us down too much.  The stress began to build as the sun climbed higher and higher though. 

The Everglades National Park has a thoroughly ridiculous policy that you can only reserve a campsite in person up to 24 hours in advance of your trip, and furthermore that you must reserve any site you plan on using.  Thus, it is always a distinct possibility for visitors to the Park to arrive only to learn that your itinerary will NOT work.  By the time we arrived at the Ranger Station, I was convinced that our trip would probably be in vain and we would not get our site.  This was due to two reasons: first, because I was exhausted and probably not viewing the glass as half full, having been awake since the previous morning around 6:00 am, and secondly because we arrived around 1:30 in the afternoon.  Most of the time this would be far too late during peak paddling season. 

Incredibly, despite our worries, our whole itinerary was totally open.  The list was as follows: first night at Lopez River, second night at Darwin's Place, third and fourth nights at Lostman's Five, fifth night at New Turkey Key, and sixth night at Rabbit Key.  The plan enabled us to experience a little bit of everything, or at least nearly everything, that the Everglades have to offer from remote backcountry bays to mangrove tunnels on Charlie Creek to big water paddling on large bays at the edge of the Gulf of Mexico and camping on beaches. 

I was so tired that I really didn't even think of getting out my camera until sometime during the second day.  Suddenly it occured to me that it might be nice to document the trip and I started shooting as often as conditions allowed.  My first shots were of the wide open bays on the upper end of the Wilderness Waterway as we paddled towards Darwin's Place campsite.  Mangrove is on every horizon here. 


The next morning I remembered to shoot a few pictures of camp as well as the scenery around it.  After a couple nights of good sleep, I was feeling much better and ready to really start enjoying the trip!




1 comment:

  1. A buddy and I went there a few years ago (at least 10) and canoe-camped. We stayed at Darwin's place and at Rabbit Key also. A few different stops in between. It was an awesome and memorable trip.

    --Matt

    ReplyDelete

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