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

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Weekend Walk

The holiday weekend has been good to me so far.  On Friday, it was off to a local creek to swim and even do a little fishing.  The swimming was great, but the fishing was a little slow.  The recent thunderstorms still had the stream high and stained, but the fishing should improve soon.  

Yesterday was spent with my family.  In the afternoon we went to a favorite destination: Black Mountain.  A segment of the Cumberland Trail runs from there to highway 68 above Grassy Cove.  We normally just spend a little time walking out to the overlook where the view extends from Grassy Cove to the Smoky Mountains when the air is clear.  Knoxville was its usual hotbed of pollution so the distant views were lacking.

When I'm out with my camera, the natural limiting factors often cause me to approach photography from a different perspective.  Anyone can walk to the edge of an overlook in awe and snap a few pictures.  Few people take the time to look at the smaller scenes constantly playing out around them.  With the air too hazy, I started to look more closely at my immediate surroundings.  The first thing that jumped out at me was a wild blueberry bush growing along the cliff edge.  As I was shooting, a fly unexpectedly entered the scene and added that little something extra.


Not far away, but back in the woods and shade, the Mountain Laurel was mostly done blooming.  Here and there, a few bushes still had enough flowers left to be worth a quick picture.
  

The new spring growth was obvious all around.  In particular, I was drawn to several trees and shrubs that had seemingly large quantities of red for this time of year.  Expected in fall, it was nice to have something other than the shades of green so common in the spring.


Along the road by the parking lot, some vines were trailing along but again looking more like fall than spring.  The contrast between the fresh spring green and bright red was much more vivid than anything in October.  


Flowers were growing here and there, and right in front of our vehicles was a nice patch of daisies.  Experimenting with different angles and exposures, I found myself wishing for my tripod.  In the end, I was more or less satisfied with the result although nothing ever turns out exactly perfect. 
 

The treat of the day was found on the road back down the mountain.  On the way up I had noticed a few bursts of colors on the hill above the road.  The shady north side of the mountain is the perfect area for Mountain Laurel and Rhododendron and we hit the jackpot with the Flame Azalea.  I would have my dad stop the car, jump and and run straight up the hill to the flowers.  After several pictures, it would be back in the car to find more.  The thing that amazed me was the variety in color from a brilliant red to bright orange and even a few muted shades of orange.




  


2 comments:

  1. Wow, nice pictures. Good catch on the fly. Couldn't reproduce that if you had to.

    Mark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mark! As soon as I saw that fly through the viewfinder I knew that I had to start shooting quickly...

      Delete

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