Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 10/17/2018

Fishing continues to be good to excellent in the Great Smoky Mountains of east Tennessee. 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 Yellow Quills are still hanging on in the mid to high elevation brook trout water although not for long. October caddis (more properly, great autumn sedges) are hatching in good numbers now on the North Carolina side of the Park and just starting on the Tennessee side. Terrestrials still have a place in your fly box as well although they are definitely winding down for the year. 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. Brook trout are still eating smaller yellow dry flies as well. 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 hoping to get some type of a report for there soon. 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 are holding off for 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. 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 and one or two in October. 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

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tying Feathers

Do you ever want to try and steal some feathers from a duck?  I've come close to considering this one a few times.  Just imagine what all these feathers would look like on a fly.  If we could harvest these without killing the duck, it would be a great renewable source.  Instead of buying a bag of feathers, each tier would simply keep a small flock of various birds...  I'm sure someone would consider this cruelty to animals, but if I was this duck, I think this solution would be much preferred over getting shot...


11 comments:

  1. I have considered it, and plan to do it when I have a property where I can keep some birds. I was thinking more along the lines of chickens that might produce some quality hackles. I figure I can just pick up feathers they drop (molt) and probably won't need to do any inhumane plucking.

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    1. Jay, that's a great idea! I have been on the receiving end of some beautiful peafowl feathers obtained this way. If you pick up the feathers soon after they are shed you can normally get some excellent specimens!!!

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    2. Anonymous8:46 AM

      I do that!! My parents have Araucana and ISA Brown chickens-- it always seems like there are feathers lying around!

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  2. As soon as my new neighbor (lives where the people lived with the Llamas) moved in he brought me 4 bags of duck feathers. Yeh, he's a duck hunter. Only problem I have is I don't know what to do with them. I've yet to find a recipe that calls for duck feathers.

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    Replies
    1. Mark, do you have flank feathers or wing feathers or both? If you have the smaller flank feathers, the fibers make great tails as well as wing cases on lots of different nymph patterns. My favorite variation on the Gold-ribbed Hare's Ear nymph is tied with mallard flank feathers for the wing case. It normally out fishes a standard GRHE back in the Smoky Mountains although I haven't tried it here in Colorado yet.

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    2. Anonymous3:37 PM

      Hi, Mark and David, just to jump in here. I have used Mallard Flank feathers for years in tying one of my favorite Streamer patterns. Trouble is I have to buy my Mallard Flank feathers since I don't have any duck hunting buddies. I would look kind of silly chasing them around at the pond in the park where I live just to maybe pick up a flank feather or two.

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    3. Mel, I'm in the same boat and buy all my feathers. If you ever decide to harvest some duck feathers at the park let me know. I'll be glad to come video the event!

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  3. Well, I don't have much interest in growing my own so to speak, but I'm always on the lookout for feathers from natural sources or from friends who hunt. I've got some beautiful turkey feathers last year from a friend in Ohio. Best pheasant tail nymphs I've ever tied.

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    Replies
    1. Generous friends who hunt are definitely great to have! I have a large collection of pheasant tail feathers from a good friend that come in handy all the time when I'm tying flies!

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  4. id rather shoot the duck (and pheasants), more time on the water, a great dinner, and feathers to tie flies!

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