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

Friday, November 30, 2012

Under the Ice

Despite little snow, high elevation streams and lakes are freezing over quite nicely.  Before Thanksgiving, I was up in Rocky Mountain National Park with a friend visiting from out-of-state.  The camera came along as well so I had some fun behind the lens.  This is at least a little bit fishing related because I scouted/photographed the Big Thompson in Moraine Park as well as other area waters.  Those other waters provided the most interesting aspect (from a fisherman's standpoint anyway) of the trip, but Moraine Park was beautiful with this different look.


The majority of the water is covered with a solid sheet of ice but the riffles were still open as were a few sheltered pools (or at least parts of them).  Before heading to Moraine Park, we had driven through everything that was open to vehicle access. The sun hitting the peaks around the Roaring River produced some dramatic scenery.


My buddy Lo-Ammi enjoyed all the scenery and took a lot of pictures as well.  Can you find him taking pictures in this photograph?


I finally got him to pose.


Turning away from the silhouette pictures, I saw what would be the last rays from the sun touching the tops of the mountains behind me.  Minutes after taking this picture, the clouds moved in permanently for the rest of the afternoon.


After taking the above pictures, we headed to Moraine Park, hoping to find some elk.  The critters were hunkered down somewhere in the woods I suspect but I did have fun walking the stream banks and taking a lot of pictures.





The ice made beautifully intricate patterns in places while in others it was just a solid glazed mass.


In places, the rushing water had carved under ice shelves to create some interesting shapes.  The contrast between the rolling water, ice, and golden grass behind is simple yet beautiful in its own right.  Under the ice shelf, the water was constantly splashing and thus creating ever growing icicles.



I probably could have continued wandering through the fields forever if it hadn't of been for friends waiting in a warm car.  Remembering that we still had places to see, I turned back after one last shot of a bend pool that is productive under warmer and more liquid circumstances.


Back on the road, I guided the car towards a lake that we were pretty sure would be ice covered.  Scenic, but in a different way than summer, the lake invited us to ice skate.  Unsure of the thickness of the ice early in the season and lacking ice skates, we settled for more pictures to remember our trip by.

In the tributary stream above, I found the most interesting discovery of the afternoon under the ice.  Near an edge were the ice had not formed, I noticed something move.  Upon closer inspection I found a brook trout.  Then another, and another, until it finally dawned on me that all the fish in the lake had moved up to spawn.  Okay, maybe not all, but hopefully you get the idea...



Can you find the fish under the ice?



The day was quickly fading.  As night approached, constantly changing colors danced across the sky and were reflected on the icy surface of the lake and beaver ponds.  Yes, Colorado is a pretty special place in any season!!!





9 comments:

  1. Once again, a gigantic THANK YOU, David! Great pics and a strong narrative.

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    1. Thanks to you too, Gerry, for reading! You need to plan a trip out here sometime...

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  2. Anonymous9:01 PM

    David, thanks so much for taking me along on your journey, pictorially! Beautiful shots. Have to admit that the stream looks inviting in different circumstances.

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    1. Mel, thanks for coming along on the trip. The stream is definitely inviting in a different way. I've been wondering if you can ice fish effectively on a stream like this. Not sure if it would be wise to try but interesting to think about...

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  3. Aah, winter in the high country. Ain't it beautiful and the colors on the Brookies, breath taking.

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    1. Mark, I love the brookies all dressed in their fall best. Some of the most beautiful fish if you ask me...

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    2. Definitely the most beautiful fish... And that is a scientific fact!! I love brookie...

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  4. Hi David. You certainly captured the beauty of RMNP. It's a breathtaking place any time of the year as you know. Fantastic photos my friend.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Howard! Winter is particular nice in my opinion because the crowds are all gone. I count myself fortunate every time I get to go up there...

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