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

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Fish Art

Going fishing is something I'm always down for.  A couple of Mondays ago, I almost gave up before I started though.  A strong cold front had just moved into the area and the air temperature was quickly falling towards the freezing point.  Sometimes I put the joy of catching a few fish in the balances against the misery involved and find the scales tipping in the direction of staying home warm and comfortable.  This time I rebelled at that idea though, especially since I was pretty confident that I would have the water to myself considering the conditions.

Arriving at one of my local streams, I started rigging up.  More properly stated, I put my fly rod together in between holding on to anything that could possibly fly away, the wind was just that strong.  A couple of times I thought I might fly away also and wondered again about the intelligence of fishing under such conditions.  Finally I got everything situated and trudged down to the stream.  Soon I had the line pulled through the guides and a Crawbugger tied on.

In the first pool I stopped at, a fish spooked from an unlikely spot in the back.  Knowing that the water was low enough that I couldn't afford to spook fish, I just started casting from where I was even though I prefer to work a bit closer to my quarry when possible.  A follow!  Focusing on the retrieve to work the fly just right, I enticed a little brown to nail the offering.


After a quick picture, I glanced up.  The natural art I had just released was beautiful but something nearby was unique and interesting in its own way.  Anyone who has put in some time on the local creeks will undoubtedly recognize this.  I can verify that the browns living in this vicinity are hungry and willing to eat!



Not far below here, I found some violets, one of my favorites!  I'm grateful for the beauty in nature that is always around me in the amazing places I get to fish.


Moving downstream, I continued to catch a fish here and another there.  Standard for streamer fishing, there were a lot more follows than there were eats.  The fish are obviously hungry after a long cold winter locked under the ice.  I did locate some better than average fish as well that will require a return trip or two or three until I land them.  Finally, the eats dwindled and eventually stopped.  The weather had put the fish off the feed.





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