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, April 18, 2012

Slipping In

Spring is a difficult time to visit some of my favorite small streams.  The areas surrounding some of the best are closed during the turkey hunts to anyone other than hunters.  Between turkey hunts and teaching classes, it can be challenging coordinating a time that I can check on the local smallmouth, redeye, coosa bass, and other panfish.  The other day I found time to slip in and check on a couple of my favorite spots. That day just happened to be the only one the area was open so the fish probably have not been pestered too much lately.

With visions of monster fish all to myself, I set out for a quick 2 hour excursion.  Upon arrival, I was pleased to find the stream at a perfect level for fishing.  Clouds were starting to one in and I expected the fish to feel safer than normal in the lower light.  Quickly rigging up, I was soon standing on a rock and casting over a large pool.


After several unproductive casts I was wondering if my trip would be worth the effort.  Then the very next cast produced a solid hit, and I soon had a nice redeye in hand.


Moving on up to the head of the pool produced another couple of fish, both of them redeye.  The smallmouth bass fishing seems to be a little on the slow side although there are many possible explanations, not the least of which is my own lack of expertise in the area of smallmouth bass fishing.


Thankfully the scenery made up for the slow fishing.  I spent as much time with the camera as I did fishing.  The wildflowers were beautiful and probably deserve a day dedicated just to shooting them...








On the way back home I stopped at another spot and immediately caught a small redeye and a small coosa bass.  I'll be looking forward to another adventure in this area.  I have a lot of ideas for better fishing and maybe some larger fish!  In the meantime, instead of sitting around waiting for turkey season to be over so I can fish the local small streams for smallmouth, I'll be heading to the Smokies tomorrow for a couple of nights.  Naturally I'll fish at least a little although maybe not as much as some trips.  Plan on a trip report by sometime this upcoming weekend...

2 comments:

  1. I would call that some very enjoyable scenery.

    Mark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mark, it was definitely worth the drive over there!

      Delete

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