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

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Spooky Browns

Meadow streams are my favorite, well, other than big tailwaters with big trout, but then there are small mountain streams, or how about mountain lakes?  I guess I really just like to fish, but seriously, fishing meadow streams for brown trout is high on my list of favorites.  Its a game of stealth, meaning I have to be on top of my game because the fish are not forgiving to blown casts or heavy footsteps.

Last Sunday was a perfect day for meadow fishing.  I was able to explore some new water for the first time and chase big browns all at the same time.  What more can you ask for?  The day was bright and sunny, definitely challenging conditions but one of my favorites due to my style of fishing.


When I arrived at the stream, I messed around near the car for just a few casts to get my muscles warmed up and ready for the challenge.  Walking up the meadow to really begin fishing, I passed another angler.  We exchanged the usual pleasantries before he mentioned that the fishing was slow and he had been unable to get any to eat.  Oh well, I know ways around that problem.

Moving up through the meadow, I started on a section of water without anyone else around.  Before long, I approached a good looking undercut bank.  The cast was spot-on and a nice little brown shot out from under the bank to inhale the fly.  I was fishing my 9' 5 weight for the extra reach and backbone in case I stuck a pig.  Just upstream, a slightly larger fish hit.  I paused long enough for a quick shot to help me remember the beautiful colors.


Fish after fish charged out to take the flies I offered, mostly brown trout between 8-12 inches but a few fish in the 13"-14" range kept things interesting.  The best fish of the day hit in a deep hole and came flying out from the shade alongside the bank.  It stared my fly down just long enough to make me breathe a sigh of relief when it hit.  I didn't even realize I had been holding my breath...


Later, a truly big fish in the 22"-24" range moseyed out to investigate my fly before fading into the deepest part of the pool to sulk on the bottom.  These are the fish that keep me going back to meadow streams.  Rarely seen, its even more rare to actually hook one.  Optimism will keep me going back though.  Hopefully I'll be on the water again this next weekend.  I'm tempted by the high country lakes but those browns are calling as well.  So many options but never enough time!!!




3 comments:

  1. David, wonderful photos and great backdrop for a fine fishing trip. Nice going.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Howard, the backdrop was incredible for sure! One of those places I enjoy visiting and hate to leave...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Davudm great work hooking and landing some beautiful Brownies'. Great camera work, too. Every picture tells a story!

    ReplyDelete

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