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, February 08, 2013

Going Fishing

My yearly total of fishing trips currently sits at an abysmal 2 trips.  Both were a success however so I cannot complain too much.  In addition, it looks like I will manage at least a little time on the water either today or Sunday (or dare I hope for both?!?).  Watch out Boulder Creek trout! I'm coming to fish...

The poll on fishing days for 2013 recently closed.  I am impressed by the goals most of you have set, especially whoever is planning on 200+ days on the water?  Guiding? Fishing for yourself?  Whatever the case it is pretty cool and something most of us can only dream of.  Most of you are in the 30-60 days fishing category.  I'll hope that means most of you are targeting closer to 60 days rather than 30.

My personal target is around 70 days on the water.  I'm busy enough these days that the goal may be overly optimistic but one can always hope.  At times I long for the ability to fish every day or at least spend time on the water.  I'm sure all the guides out there would tell me that guiding isn't that great and just as much of a hassle as any other job, but there are definitely days that it sounds appealing.  Helping someone else fish is better than not being on the water at all!

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