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, November 28, 2012

This is Home


Thanksgiving is a time to spend with friends and family.  This year it was also a time for me to return home after the big move to Colorado this past summer.  The priority for my trip was to spend time with friends and family but a side trip to the Smokies was also in order.  The Smokies are and always will be my favorite place.  Sure, when I'm knee deep in a Colorado river catching 20" trout, it may be tough to think too hard about why the Smokies are better.  Still, I will always consider the streams of the Smokies to be my original home water, the place where I learned to cast a fly rod and fool a few fish, and also the place where I took innumerable camping trips as a kid and got into backpacking as I grew older.  

The pool above is one of my favorites.  When someone talks about their favorite pool, they normally launch into a story of a monster fish caught there or some other memorable occurrence.  For me, its more about the fish I didn't catch.  Yep, there are some monsters in there, and I even saw one on my visit.  However, it is also one of the most fished pools in the river and it does not give up its trout easily.  

By the time I reached this pool with my buddy Jayson, we were starting to grow weary of the search for big fish.  Several large fish had already been spotted and even fished to, but they were far too spooky and we had come to that point where the stench of skunk was wafting our way.  Never to fear, the rainbows of the Smokies always seem hungry.  

On this day, nearly every big pool had lots of rainbows sitting high in the water column rising to midges and the occasional BWO.  I had tied up a collection of tiny parachute BWOs early this fall after getting into a great hatch on Clear Creek above Golden.  Rather proud of the little flies I had coaxed out of feathers and dubbing, I was happy for the chance to tie one on.  My buddy Jayson had already made the switch and missed a couple of nice rainbows and landed a couple more.  He had also caught an elusive brown.  It was not the monster we had originally hoped for but was still nice to see.


The four weight was in the car ready to be put together but I was slightly lazy and stuck with my 5 weight Legend Ultra.  Extending the leader to 6x tippet, I tied the fly on and started casting.  The trout were sitting just out of the fast current, waiting for the bugs they somehow knew were coming.  My fly must have been tasty looking.  In the first 6 casts I had 6 hits but no fish!!!  Nevermind that dilemma though because when fish are feeding this well you know it will happen.  

Of course, it eventually did.  I was happy to hold and admire one of the gems of the Smokies again.  Yes, the Smokies and Tennessee are home I thought as I watched the fish dart away.  A few rainbows later, I was ready to head back home and spend more time with those I don't get to see very often anymore.  Another time, I'll be back and spend more time in the Smokies.  Until then, I can keep remembering all the good times...


2 comments:

  1. It's sure nice to hear you got back home for the holiday David. I think we all have one of "those" special places that we need to get back to once in awhile.

    ReplyDelete
  2. James W8:39 PM

    Yes! - Motivation to head to the Park. It's easy to lose ambition this time of the year with cool weather and short days, but there isn't a much better time to be on the water. Thanks for sharing and glad you made it home for a few days.

    ReplyDelete

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