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, November 11, 2012

Late Season Opportunities

While winter is rapidly approaching, the weather is still bi-polar.  The cold season has not yet arrived in force, meaning that one weekend is perfect with highs in the 60s on the plains and 50s in the mountains and the next weekend it snows with frigid overnight lows.  Last weekend was one of the good weekends, at least if you're an angler.  I made it to the mountains to a favorite stream to chase the browns.


Watching a fish get fired up over a streamer is one of my favorite aspects of the sport.  Accordingly, I headed to a stretch where I could toss some streamers and see what would happen.  In the first pool, I watched a fish shoot out of the back of the deepest part to attack my streamer.  Somehow it couldn't find the hook though.  Several casts later, with the fish repeating its behavior, I finally just gave up and moved to a different spot.  Sometimes fish just want to chase but not eat.

Over the next couple of hours, I covered a ton of water.  Several nice fish were out and about and a few smaller ones were even on redds.  The largest fish I saw made me gasp in amazement at how a fish of well over 20 inches could live in such small water.  In another spot, I watched a pod of big runner browns swimming in circles in a big pool, just waiting for the right moment to move up and spawn.

The fish that I hooked all wanted to attack whichever streamer I happened to have on at the moment.  Others had the same idea, but streamer fishing is not usually a high percentage game.  I generally expect a lot of follows, refusals, and the usual swing and a miss.  Enough fish found the hook though to keep me interested.


Later in the day, I moved on to a more sheltered stretch of stream and hoped for some blue-winged olives.  The hatch didn't develop, or perhaps I was too late.  A few stray midges were coming off, and I did trick one small brown on a midge, but that was it.  The consolation was a great sunset and beautiful reflected light on the stream.  I spent more time behind my camera lens than fishing during the late day hours...



9 comments:

  1. This may be a very dumb question, but I don't live near a trout stream and only get the opportunity to fish them every couple of months or so. But how do you know if a trout is on the red? Will they build a nest out of gravel?

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    1. Atlas, you are correct, they build a next out of gravel. Generally you will find them in the tail of pools and riffles where the smaller gravel is. The female will dig out a hollow in the gravel which is a fairly obvious depression in the streambed. You can find areas the fish have been spawning or preparing nests because the gravel is a lot cleaner there compared to everywhere else usually. Somewhere I have some pictures of fish on or close to redds. If I can find them I'll try to put a post together about it...

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    2. Thank you for the information and your response. I would greatly appreciate that.

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  2. Hi David. I nudged Howard to take you along when he fishes Boulder Creek with the creel attached. Looking forward to the video if caves and takes you.

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    1. Mark, it should be a pretty good adventure and probably an even better video... :D

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  3. the pictures here look so cool.

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  4. I'll be up for it as soon as I can pull myself out of my rocker. I'm looking forward to meeting David. I think I can teach him a bit...about photography,(not!) fishing, (not!!) or women, (definitely not!!!) Oh well, I'll buy the beers.

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    Replies
    1. We'll definitely have a good time fishing together sometime. Now if next spring can just hurry up...

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