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

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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