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

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Last Trip

Sunday may have been my last trip of 2012.  There is the possibility of venturing out while in Maine for Christmas (yeah, you read that correctly), and if any of you have any helpful hints and suggestions I'm all ears.  Realistically, however, in all likelihood I logged my last trip of the year.  Best of all, the fish were still hungry!!!

A trip to Boulder provided a great excuse for tossing a fly rod in the car.  One can always hope right?  On Saturday, I drove about a mile up Boulder Canyon and was dismayed at the amount of solid water. Yep, winters in Colorado are just a little bit different from those in Tennessee.  Amazingly, there is still a fair amount of open water in town.

After quickly rigging a rod, I hit the stream with, you guessed it, my favorite little white streamer.  Time has been tight lately but I promise that I will get around to doing an article about this great winter time fly.  In the first pool and riffle, I found zero fish.  Not to be deterred, I worked my way upstream.  The next pool was much more promising.

A little trick I like to use this time of year is to find pools where I know fish spawned.  Normally fish will move to the closest deep water after spawning to ride out the cold months.  The next pool I fished was such a pool.  The tailout still had the telltale signs of recent spawning activity so I was fairly certain there were some browns nearby.  In fact, my first cast into the heart of the pool produced a rather impressive follow for the size of the creek, one of those "I'm coming back again later" type of moments.  Not a giant fish mind you, but large enough to be interesting.

Working my way into the run/riffle area at the head of the pool, I was surprised at how many fish were following the streamer out of the faster water.  The fish were definitely hungry and willing to eat while the stream conditions were still marginally favorable.  Finally, I saw two fish racing to hit the streamer at the same time.  The smaller of the two won, and I was a bit surprised to discover a brook trout with a face full of streamer on the end of my line.


Working my way up through riffles and pools, I found a few more willing fish.  As usual, I discovered several creative ways of spooking the best fish of the day.  This time of year can be particularly tough with low clear water, but I was already satisfied.  I hadn't really expected much out of the outing, but those are usually the times when the fishing is actually pretty good!!!



For Christmas, as I mentioned above, I'll be in Maine.  If anyone has any tips or suggestions for a place to fish this time of year, I'll be just northeast of the Portland/Freeport area.  I still haven't decided if I'll go to much effort to get out or even bother taking gear but must admit that the idea intrigues me.  I'm already thinking about some late winter or early spring trips to tailwaters like the Taylor or Frying Pan for BIG trout.  Apparently cabin fever sets in early here in Colorado...

2 comments:

  1. Yep David welcome to Colorado home of early cabin fever and late runoffs. Have a very Merry Christmas back home.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Those Browns look just like the ones that I catch up in the San Bernardino Mountains here in So Cal. Great photos!

    ReplyDelete

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