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, May 14, 2012

Partial Trip

Getting out in the Smokies is an opportunity that is not to be missed.  This past weekend's trip was special, a trip into the backcountry.  As much as I love backpacking, I don't do it often enough.  However, there is one aspect of backpacking that I really don't enjoy: going in the rain.

With the forecast practically guaranteeing a downpour, I opted to stay away from the overnight portion of my trip.  The messy forecast actually had me excited about the fishing though.  Hatching insects and nasty weather tend to go hand in hand.  I was supposed to fish with a new fishing buddy and he was not afraid of the forecast so the trip was still a go for Sunday.

The anticipation was building to the point where it was hard for me to go to sleep.  When it is after 11:00 p.m. and the alarm is set for 4:00 a.m., the logical side of my brain insists that I fall asleep.  As soon as your brain insists, the body rebels and the vicious cycle spirals out of control.  Sometime close to midnight I finally drifted off.  The alarm woke me up rudely.  As I moved around the house, my brain began to clear and the excitement returned. 

Arriving in the Park, we opted to head up Little River trail.  Our original plan was to hike a ways up but with the bad weather we knew that the stream would probably be ours for the day.  Accordingly we started fishing without going too far.
 
Somewhere on Little River...

Breck wanted to try some new techniques, especially fishing nymphs using the "high stick" style so common in the southern Appalachians.  I rigged up with a double nymph rig and set him up with a single bead head Tellico.  During my quick demonstration of the technique I landed two nice rainbows and we were off and running.  He quickly hooked and landed his first rainbow with the new technique and then we worked up the stream, taking turns at likely spots.
 
Breck fishing a nice pocket

As the rain continued to come and go, the insects became more and more active.  Finally we couldn't stand it any longer and tied on the dry flies.  After a couple of fish, it was obvious that while we could catch a few on top, the primary method for the day was nymph fishing. 

Later, after Breck had to leave in the early afternoon, I tried some new spots out.  The plan worked out perfectly.  Numerous mayflies and stoneflies were hatching and after picking up some really nice rainbows and missing a couple of larger browns on nymphs, I switched over to dries.
 
Rainbow caught nymphing a deep run 

Brown trout and dry flies!!!

This was the perfect way to end the day.  I caught a couple of browns on top and finally the previous late night and early morning caught up to me.  With daylight still left I opted to head on home before I fell asleep on my feet.  Thankfully, I managed to stay awake long enough to stop and spend a little time with my mom for Mother's Day.  When I finally fell asleep it was the sleep of exhaustion from a day well spent.   

1 comment:

  1. What is really the definition of fishing in the smokies? Being in smokey mtn national park? Or would you consider just being in the Western Appalachians the smokies? I'm not a huge fan of fishing in the rain especially if it's cold.

    ReplyDelete

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