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

Sunday, December 09, 2012

A Date That Will Live in Infamy


December 7, 1941 is naturally memorable to any patriotic American, but then there is December 7, 2012.  I'm guessing the trout of Clear Creek might remember this one for awhile.  I did not have much time on the water, 2 hours or so at best, but the trout were out and hungry.  The weather is mild enough to have the trout on the feed but still cool enough that most people are avoiding this stream.  That's just fine with me.

After taking care of a few items of business, I grabbed my gear and headed towards Golden.  After having a blast throwing streamers last Sunday, I assumed the continued warm weather would have even more of the stream open to fishing.  My hunch proved correct as the majority of the stream was free of ice now at least on the lower end where I focused my efforts.  Small streamers were again the name of the game.  I fished a couple of different white streamers and the fish were willing to eat them both dead drift with occasional twitches and also ripped through the currents to imitate a fleeing baitfish.

The irony of the situation had me feeling sorry for the people hurrying past just a few yards away on the busy highway.  Here I was, enjoying the beautiful afternoon and evening out in nature, while everyone else was in a hurry to get to the casinos not far up in the mountains.  It made me very thankful that I find so much pleasure in nature although I'm not sure that I'm saving much money compared to everyone else...

Back to the fishing, things started out okay but not great.  I had a few half hearted follows and a few more genuinely interested fish.  Amazingly, there were still fish out in the riffles and pocket water although many more have already moved to the larger pools where they will spend the cold winter months.  The water temperatures had come up some since last Sunday.  Again I relied on the highly scientific hand dip technique and feel fairly safe saying the water temperature was at least 5 degrees warmer than on my last trip.  As the shadows grew longer, the fish responded to the more comfortable water temperatures.  Perhaps the approaching front had them anxious to eat as well.  Whatever the reason, more and more fish started to attack the streamer.  Finally I brought one to hand and the skunk was off!


Over the last 45 minutes, I stung and even plain ol' missed more fish than I can remember.  The first fish was the smallest and the others included some very respectable trout.  Again, like the last trip, I couldn't connect with the largest fish of the day.

Perhaps the most enjoyable part was the fact that the stream was living up to its name.  I could see the bottom even in the deepest pools and was sight fishing despite not wearing my polarized sunglasses.  The fish were sitting out in all types of water and it was an enjoyable game seeing which ones would chase and eat and which ones would totally ignore my efforts.  Apparently a few fish received a memo detailing my fishing trip because they were just a bit wise to my efforts.  The rest though were not so intelligent and kept me entertained until I knew that it was time to head home...





I wrapped up the evening lying down on a boulder overlooking the top of a nice pool with my camera pointed upstream.  As the light grew less and less, I took several pictures to remember the peace that I found along a busy highway.  I'm sure there is a profound lesson to be learned there as well, but at the moment, I was just glad to be outside soaking up the experience...





6 comments:

  1. David, I meant to post a comment earlier, but my life stepped in and made me do other things. Your photos are beautiful and I'm more convinced now more than ever that we need to hook up. But please, can we wait until the temps. get above 50 degrees?

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    Replies
    1. Howard, we could wait, but on the other hand, we could get out this weekend! How about the Blue? Temps in the low-mid 20s if we are lucky...haha. Seriously, I'll be looking forward to fishing sometime next spring or summer. I know that my trips are going to be few and far between for the next 2 months unless we get an extended warm spell again. And if you change your mind about winter fishing let me know...

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  2. Cool shots, especially like the first one. Good stuff as always.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Peter! I was pretty happy to catch them considering the time of year...

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