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, April 12, 2013

Friday Fun

So for a bit of fun today, I am hoping to stir up a debate.  Lately, I have been thinking about the similarities and differences between fishing for redfish and carp.  Let's be honest: beyond actual coloration, they look pretty similar as far as body shape and build goes.  Carp pull as hard as any fish I've ever hooked other than striped bass.  Yet, the lowly carp gets only minimal credit and then only among a somewhat cult-type following.  The true carp fishermen are somewhat few and far between.  Out here in Colorado I have noticed a few more than back in Tennessee but they are still not anything close to a majority.

So, my question today is why fish for carp?  For that matter, why chase redfish?  I'm a pretty dedicated trout fisherman but enjoy chasing large- and smallmouth bass, panfish, striped bass, white bass, hybrids, musky, pike, yeah, I guess if it swims I'm willing to give it a shot.  I have even caught a few carp and had fun, but am still not sure whether it is worth my time becoming a proficient carp fisherman.

7 comments:

  1. I have no credentials to answer this, but that never stopped me before so here goes. I've never been fishing for redfish. Don't care if I ever do as long as there are trout here in Colorado. As far as carp goes, I've never been fishing for carp. As long as there are trout in Colorado I'll be a happy camper. but I will go carp fishing this year. I just don't expect to get crazy about it but I've got to try.

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    1. Howard, your expectations seem pretty similar to my own...I will say this: If I could find carp here that would consistently rise to a big dry, I would take them a lot more seriously.

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  2. If you have to ask why then you're probably not going to do it much. To each his own. If the tug is truly the drug for you carp have few competitors.

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    1. You make a good point Kevin. I definitely love the tug but I guess I'm a little picky about what's on the other end of the line. Then again, when I have fished for carp before I had a great time...

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  3. David,
    Like yourself, I'm a multi-species angler. If it has fins and swims I'd be willing to cast a fly to it. I'm more of a warmwater fly fisher by virtue of geography, but I do love trout fishing as well. I've never caught a carp on the fly, but I've never really given it much effort. Most of my encounters with carp have been accidental... one randomly shows up at my feet on the Smallmouth or trout stream. I've never found a good "crap flat," and I've had some conversations with dedicated carp fly guys that have led me to believe that's a pretty important element for consistent fly carping. I'm determined to land one this year on the fly and I think I have my spot located.
    It's interesting you make the connection between carp and Redfish, because I've heard them compared to Bonefish more often than Reds. I've heard carp called "the poor man's Bonefish." Redfish actually have a very close freshwater counterpart in the form of their only freshwater relative- the Freshwater Drum... aka "Redneck Redfish." Although I have never gotten the opportunity to chase Redish, I have tried to catch a drum on the fly in a clear water river here in AL. I've caught plenty of drum in dirty MS spillways on live bait and lures, but never on a fly. I think at the right time of year in the right place Freshwater Drum can be pretty easy targets, but I haven't been so lucky yet.
    All that being said, I've gathered that carp are worthy and challenging targets for the fly fisher. I know when I land my first I'll feel like I've accomplished something based on their reputation for difficulty.

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    Replies
    1. Umm... make that "carp flat"... sorry for that typo.

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    2. Jay, its interesting that you mention freshwater drum. I have caught those as well mostly by accident, and can't say that I enjoyed it that much. They are heavy out in the current but once you get them in slack water they don't have much fight, at least in my experience. I caught them accidentally below Chickamauga dam in Chattanooga a few times. They definitely do look awfully similar to redfish though...if you want to catch them on the fly, Chickamauga (or probably any TN river tailwater below there) is a great option especially when shad are coming through the dam...

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