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

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.

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

      Delete
  2. 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.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    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...

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

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

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

      Delete
  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.

    ReplyDelete
    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...

      Delete

Newsletter

Subscribe to the Trout Zone Anglers Newsletter!

* indicates required