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

Monday, October 15, 2012

Welcome Winter

The high country continues to pick up more and more moisture.  The view from my classroom is gorgeous with a great perspective of Longs Peak as well as the Indian Peaks Wilderness.  Looking towards the mountains always reminds me of my mostly weekend adventures.  In fact, a week ago from this past Saturday I took a pretty cool hike (actually it was freezing), and also saw my first Colorado moose (and second).

The destination was Lake Isabelle and on the way we would also pass Long Lake.  Driving up from the high plains was an adventure.  A new route kept things interesting, but the frosty coating on the trees had me driving carefully in case some of the ice had formed on the road as well.  The new frosty coat became much heavier as we ascended to Brainard Lake from the Peak-to-Peak highway.

Brainard Lake looked mysterious in the fog, reminding me of the foggy days I've experienced so often in Tennessee.  I'm going out on a limb here and guessing I won't see as much fog here in Colorado but time will only tell.


Interestingly, as we hiked further upwards, the clouds thinned and so did the ice on the trees.  Upslope flow was keeping the clouds entrenched against the mountains, but at the very top, downsloping flow was keeping the clouds evaporating and the views spectacular.  The moist air was constantly flowing up the valley towards us creating some very interesting clouds that would blow this way and that before  vanishing into thin air (Really, it was thin. We were huffing and puffing our way along...).

Long Lake was still firmly socked in with fog providing some great photo opportunities.  After freezing ourselves in an attempt to take pictures of the ghostly scene, we quickly put gloves and hats back on and commenced hiking in earnest.




Watching for moose, we progressed up the valley, occasionally wondering why we were apparently the only people dedicated enough (or is it crazy?) to be out hiking on this day.  We finally crested the last rise and our destination lay before us.  The glaciers above the lake had a fresh coat of snow, covering the dirty color they had taken on over the summer.



Unfortunately the wind picked up abruptly in this high alpine environment.  Even with the layers we wore it was chilly.  A few pictures later, we were on our way back down into the relative calm amongst the trees.

We found that Long Lake was now much more visible although moisture was still flowing in thin wispy clouds towards the high peaks.  The scenery provided a new perspective so the cameras came back out and were pressed into service documenting this new mood of the high country.



I discovered brook trout spawning in the stream below the lake and enjoyed watching them.  They were just a bit too spooky for good photography although I was tempted to attempt some video.  In the end, the car's heater was just a little more inviting.

Slowly descending the road to Brainard Lake, we again discussed how nice it would be to see a moose.  I also was thinking about the snowshoe hares and suggested how it would be nice to see one of those also.  Driving slowly past the lake, nothing showed itself and we were already starting to talk about what we should do for supper when we made it back to town.  My focus thus broken, I was thoroughly shocked when something approaching the size of a barn bolted mere feet from my car.

Scaring my friend Catherine, I managed to get the car stopped without wrecking in excitement.  The apparently giant moose was actually the smaller of the two.  Mom was a few yards away and once both calmed down (along with my own nerves), we got some pictures.  The low light and fog meant the pictures were not as crisp as they could have been but of course, the foggy day was the perfect setting for seeing our first moose!!!




Oh yeah, we saw our snowshoe hares also.  Lots and lots of them.  They seemed to be running all over on the way out.  I guess they all got hungry at once and were out having supper...

10 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Mark, so far its been nothing but fun! Not sure if I'll survive the winter out here but right now I'm just looking at it as another adventure...

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  2. Awesome! Brainard is a fun place....with increasingly more moose! Which is exciting. :) Gorgeous photos, as always. And this is always somewhat a sad time of years...when you look at those mountains and realize the "adventuring" of summer is soon to end.

    Good post. Made me smile.

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    Replies
    1. Erin, I'm amazed at how many moose are apparently in that area. Saw lots more this past Saturday although that's a story for another day. And yes, I know what you mean about being a little sad at this time of year. I may have to take up cross country skiing to stay in touch with the high country or perhaps snow shoeing. I'll go crazy if I stay away from the mountains for too long...

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  3. David,

    Wow, you have really been getting the most out of the gorgeous country you are now inhabiting, both with the fishing and striking photographs (the current photo of the month is stunning). Nicely done!

    Iain

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    Replies
    1. Iain,

      I have definitely made it to a lot of places in a short period of time. The photography is sometimes more enjoyable than the fishing. The scenery is stunning here!

      David

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  4. David, some of my best fishing stories took place at Brainard. I haven't been there in a long while. Maybe it's time to take a trip.

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    Replies
    1. Howard, I still haven't fished Brainard Lake proper but have enjoyed some hikes into the high country nearby. There is a wealth of water to explore in that area.

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  5. Making me jealous man! Glad things are going well for you out there. If I were in your shoes I think I would seriously look into winter sports like you mentioned...

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    Replies
    1. Travis, things are pretty awesome out here but still miss Tennessee. Definitely benefits of being in both places. I've been shopping around for ski passes lately. May have to take the plunge!!!

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