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

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Yellow Stones

Late spring and summer in the Smokies always means Little Yellow Stoneflies.  There are different species, ranging in size from the big Golden Stones down to #18 but most commonly in the #12-#16 range.  The following is one of my favorite patterns for this hatch.  I like it for two reasons:  it is easy to tie, and it floats very well.  If you want to try it out, here is the recipe.

Hook: #16 TMC 100 or similar dry fly hook
Thread: Yellow 8/0
Body:  Yellow Poly Yarn
Wing:  Yellow Poly Yarn
Hackle: Light or Medium Dun, trimmed on the bottom


Lots of other great patterns work, but I'm about efficient, easy to tie patterns that still wear out the fish.  Next time you are heading up to the Smokies, make sure and stay until evening and then tie one of these on.  You'll be glad you did...

6 comments:

  1. Nice and simple! And a floater for sure too.

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  2. Caleb, you're right, between the poly yarn and hackle it does great staying on top!

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  3. That fly would surely work in England when the Yellow Sallies are about. In flight they look like little yellowish Chinook helicopters and on the water they sit close like your cropped hackle lets your fly sit.

    Regular Rod

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  4. Regular Rod, I think getting the fly to sit on the water correctly is important and this fly almost always lands correctly and sits close to the surface. Definitely a good pattern!

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  5. Ever tie these in other colors as a simple fly pattern? i.e. grays or browns maybe?

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  6. I may have tied these in brown but I can't remember. It would be a great caddis pattern when tied in the correct hatch-matching colors. Definitely fun to experiment with. Another option is to dub the body but I really like the poly yarn wing as it floats well and is easy to see...

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