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

Monday, April 30, 2012

Tailwater Diversity

One benefit of the Tennessee tailwaters is that they normally contain more than just trout and char species.  In fact, many Tennessee tailwaters are not trout streams but that is not my point.  On any given day, you can fish a river in Tennessee and have a good shot at catching rainbow, brown, and brook trout, as well chances at smallmouth, largemouth, bluegill and other sunfish, carp, walleye, stripers, white bass, hybrids, yellow bass, musky.....I hope you begin to see my point.  There are many possibilities when it comes to fishing here in Tennessee.  On a recent float with David Perry, we came across a lot of nice fish that included but was not limited to trout.
 

A recent stocking of small brown trout got us in the game early.  The fish were already aggressive and willing to chase flies nearly as large as themselves.  Our main goal was to catch larger fish though.  As the weather warms, we are thinking more and more of carp.  Sure enough, as we drifted down the river we started to find them stacked up in the pools with little or no current.  With a long float ahead, we didn't play with them for long.  Next time we'll hook one though... 

The white bass were another story.  We found them stacked up in similar water as the carp, just a little closer to the current.  White bass are nice when the fishing is slow, but can get frustrating when they are running because they are almost too easy to catch.
 


Later, we got onto some more trout.  Both of us caught some nice rainbows and we started noticing a little hatch coming off.  Light colored bugs were flying around.  It appeared that both Light Cahill's and Sulphurs were hatching and the fish were pretty excited.
 


Photograph by David Perry

We are early enough in the hatch that nymphs will still produce more strikes than the dries will.  After David P. had caught more than his share of rainbows, I moved to the front of the boat.  Not far down the river, I cast to a favorite log.  Sure enough, the indicator dove under.  I lifted the rod tip expecting another 14" rainbow.  A swirl of golden brown on the other end hinted at my favorite, an elusive brown trout.  As I fought the fish, I thought it was about 14".  However, as the fight continued, that estimate kept going up.  When we landed the fish, it was definitely larger than 14"!  After the necessary pictures, the beautiful male swam away, hopefully to grow a few more inches before I catch him again.
 
Photograph by David Perry 

Photograph by David Perry 

Photograph by David Perry

As I turned to look around me and enjoy the moment, the sun broke through the clouds and lit up my surroundings with that rich evening light.  Out came the camera.  The bugs were still hatching and I took pictures of them as well.
 



Catching big fish usually lands the angler at the rower's bench.  I climbed into the boat and started guiding David P. down the river again.  The bluegill got active and we added another species to the list for the day. 


The sun was casting its rays across the sky, and I let the boat slowly spin in circles as I clicked away with the camera.


1 comment:

  1. Diverse? I'll say. Nice pictures. I could use a brown like that one.

    Mark

    ReplyDelete

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