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, October 14, 2012

Exploring the South Platte

Now almost a week and a half ago, my break is quickly becoming a receding memory.  Still, the pictures provide great entertainment and take me away to some of the most beautiful scenery Colorado has to offer.  After Thursday's trip to chase big browns, I had some exploring planned.  It would be off to check out the South Platte with a couple of different goals.  First and foremost, this was a scouting trip, and my goal was to check out the Dream Stream for big lake-run browns.  Second, I wanted to see some new to me scenery as well as figure out how long I could count on the trip to the Dream Stream taking me.

In the end, the scenery won out over the fishing.  I shot several pictures over the course of the day and was quite impressed with the beauty of the area.



The scouting was, well, scouting.  Lots and lots of walking and looking and walking some more.  The crowds were huge but fish really weren't being caught except for one very nice brown I saw landed that looked to be in the 22-24 inch range.  In fact, I spent far more time looking than fishing and was glad to finally call it quits.

Only rarely am I glad to stop fishing but much more challenging than a lack of large fish was the brutal wind.  It was howling (literally) out of the west to the point where I was exhausted just from walking through the wind.  Still, it had been a good day and if I stopped completely at this point I would have been happy.  Instead, I went searching for redemption.

I just wanted to catch a fish, any fish.  Eleven Mile Canyon contains some beautiful water, and I remembered doing well there during my previous visit to the area.  On the way, I found some aspen at what I would consider to be peak colors.


Finishing my descent into the canyon, I started upriver and soon came to a big pool I remembered quite well.  Fish were lined up sipping something small off the surface.  The wind was much better in the shelter of the canyon walls.  Parking the car and changing my rig for small dry flies, I was soon casting.  However, the five weight line slapping the gentle autumn flows was too much for the trout and I watched as one by one, they disappeared to wherever fish hide when some crazy fisherman is flogging the water.  Changing to 6x and smaller flies, I continued looking for feeding trout.

In the pocket water, lots of fish were feeding. and I suspected that I might have better luck in the faster flows.  Nice fish kept spooking, reminding me that I was definitely NOT on top of my game.  Finally, starting back down towards the car, I was ready to call it a day.  Then I saw one more fish.

Three casts later, I saw it move towards where I suspected my fly was.  It turned abruptly so I set the hook.  Finally, a trout.  Even better, it turned out to be a brown trout!  On most days I would be unhappy to catch just one fish, but on this day of minimal fishing and lots of scouting, I was glad to finally hook one.



4 comments:

  1. Well, considering the circumstances I think that 1 trout was a pretty good job this day.

    Regards,
    M.O.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree!!! Definitely a good day out even without lots of fish...

      Delete
  2. David, thanks for sharing your exploration down in South Platte country. Beautiful time of the year to be out even if the fishing plays second fiddle. Sometime, will have to get down that way and see for myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mel, that is a fun stream to fish for sure. I had previously only fished it once in the summer. It is a technical stream for sure but still a lot of fun...

      Delete

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