Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 11/1/2018

Fishing is good in the Smokies and other mountain streams if you can catch it on a day where the wind is minimal. Otherwise, expect lots of leaves in the water for the next few days. Delayed harvest streams are also being stocked and fishing well in east Tennessee and western North Carolina.

In the Smokies, fall bugs are in full swing. We have been seeing blue-winged olives almost daily although they will hatch best on foul weather days. They are small, typically running anywhere from #20-#24 although a few larger ones have also shown up. A few October Caddis are still around as well. Terrestrials are close to being done for the year although we are still seeing a few bees and hornets near the stream. Isonychia nymphs, caddis pupa, and BWO nymphs will get it done for your subsurface fishing. Have some October Caddis (#12) and parachute BWO patterns (#18-#22) for dry flies and you should be set. Not interested in matching the hatch? Then fish a Pheasant Tail nymph under a #14 Parachute Adams. That rig can catch fish year round in the Smokies.

Brook and brown trout are now moving into the open to spawn. During this time of year, please be extremely cautious about wading through gravel riffles and the tailouts of pools. If you step on the redd (nest), you will crush the eggs that comprise the next generation of fish. Please avoid fishing to actively spawning fish and let them do their thing in peace.

Our tailwaters are still cranking although the Caney is finally starting to come down. I'm still hoping to get a firsthand report on the Caney Fork soon although it might be sometime next week or the week after before that happens at the earliest. Stay tuned for more on that. Fishing will still be slow overall with limited numbers of fish in that particular river unfortunately.

The Clinch is featuring high water as they try to catch up on the fall draw down. All of the recent rainfall set them back in this process but flows are now going up to try and make up some of the time lost. It is still fishing reasonably well on high water although we prefer the low water of late fall and early winter as it is one of our favorite times to be on the river.

Smallmouth are about done for the year with the cooler weather we are now experiencing. I caught a few yesterday on the Tennessee River while fishing with guide Rob Fightmaster, but overall the best bite is all but over. Our thoughts will be turning to musky soon, however. Once we are done with guide trips for the year, we'll be spending more time chasing these monsters.

In the meantime, we still have a few open dates in November. Feel free to get in touch with me if you are interested in a guided trip. Thanks!

Photo of the Month: Fishing in Paradise

Photo of the Month: Fishing in Paradise

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Return

Trout streams have a way of drawing me back again and again.  Sometimes I go back to the same spot again and again and usually for different reasons ranging from a big fish I've spotted to just nostalgia.  Other times I return to the same stream but desire a new stretch of water, something still vaguely familiar and comfortable yet refreshingly different all at once.

Last week, after spotting a big brown on Sunday, I started plotting my return.  With fall break looming, I originally planned on fishing with Juan of Hopper Juan Fame.  As a hard working guide and tier, he could only get away one day so I planned to camp somewhere near the South Platte or Arkansas and "pre-fish" on Thursday before meeting up with him on Friday.  The phenomenal fishing on Sunday changed my plans however.  I figured I would just fish on Rocky Mountain National Park on Thursday and take a day trip down to the South Platte or Arkansas on Friday.  About the time I decided to adjust my plans, other circumstances intervened to cancel our fishing trip this time so I was now fully committed to making a day of it on Thursday.  If I had energy left, I might still explore solo down along the South Platte on Friday.

Arriving at the first stream, I quickly rigged up and began fishing.  A short time and a few fish later, I decided to head to the other stream and look for that big brown.  As always, driving around in the Park is a great experience.  Elk were everywhere although when I'm heading off to fish, the wildlife are just a nuisance that slow drivers in front of me down.  Its hard to complain about being in the wild though and I thoroughly enjoyed the drive to my next fishing hole.

Finding no one where I wanted to fish at the next spot, I changed flies to something that a big brown would probably enjoy.  I cast into the pool, once, twice...the big brown hit like a freight train, appearing almost magically from wherever he had been lurking.  My eyes had been glued to the rock he shot out from other the previous trip so I know he had been hiding in a new spot.  Whatever the case, I was now VERY glad for the heavy 1x tippet I was fishing and quickly fought the fish into the shallows.  Time should never be wasted in fighting a fish you plan to release and this fish was no exception.

I posed for a couple of quick pictures which my friend Catherine graciously took for me so I could keep the fish in the water as much as possible.  It was a beautiful brown and definitely made my day!

Catherine McGrath Photograph 

Catherine McGrath Photograph

Despite fishing some more, and even catching some more nice fish, nothing would surpass returning to catch a big brown I had spotted previously.  The rest of the day was spent exploring some new areas which included driving the long way home.  As always here in Colorado, the scenery impressed but I was already considering my next day's adventure...


12 comments:

  1. Well done David. Nice job on putting the work in to go back and fool that beautiful fish.

    Ben

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    1. Thanks Ben! Returning to catch a spotted big fish is one of my favorite things in this sport...

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  2. Nice! I sure wished we could have made the trip but.... Next time. That is a good looking brown and hard to beat anywhere you go.

    Juan

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    Replies
    1. Juan, will be looking for to another opportunity to fish together. And thanks! I was pretty happy about that fish.

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  3. Lovely scenery and a beautiful brown trout! Yes, spotting a big trout makes you want to go back to see if it's still there and naturally if you can get him to take. I have a lot of places of returns but unfortunately some of them have been ruined one way or the other by humans that cannot leave the places as they found them. Sad but true. Glad you got your big brown!
    My best,
    M.O.

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    Replies
    1. M.O., that is always frustrating when you find your favorite spot trashed because someone was careless. I've seen that too much in my life...

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  4. Anonymous1:42 PM

    David, isn't that really what flyfishing is all about? The Dream, the Implementaion of your Plan, and, the Realization that your Dream came true when your Plan was successfully Implemented! Congratulations on that big Brownie!

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    Replies
    1. Mel, that is definitely a great summary of fly fishing! I think I might have to chase the dream again this afternoon...

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  5. Nice going David. Mel and I are anxious for some lessons.

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    1. Howard, I'm looking forward to a chance to hang out with you guys. I'm sure you can show me a thing or two about fishing here in Colorado...

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  6. Absolutely beautiful Brown! Hard to beat any day where that is the result.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Atlas! It definitely made my day...

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