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

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Leeches

One of my all time favorite flies for a variety of situations is the Simi Seal Leech.  This simply fly can be modified to look more like a nymph or left buggy to serve as a great leech pattern.  And did I mention that it catches fish?

For years, this has been a late winter/early spring staple on the trout streams.  Tied sparsely and without brushing the long fibers out, it is a good generic stonefly nymph.  I fish it in double nymph rigs and have had days where it out-fishes more precise patterns like a bead head Pheasant Tail nymph.  Then there are the bluegill....

Ah, the bluegill.  I still have not found a good bluegill lake or pond here in Colorado, but trust me I'm starting to look.  Back home, early season bluegill were a great way to pass the time in between trips to trout waters.  Last year, I caught some big ones, including this one.


Yes, you guessed it, this brute and many others were all caught on the Simi Seal Leech.  It is my secret bluegill fly.  Of course, bluegill will often eat just about anything, but this pattern seems to be particularly successful.  Recently, I sent an order for a half dozen of my Ultra Wire Soft Hackles to Bill over at Fishing Through Life.  I tossed in an extra bead head Simi Seal Leech to aid him in his quest to catch 100 big bull bluegill this spring.  It worked great, so good in fact that I just sent him another dozen with some new color schemes.



The best thing about this pattern is that it is super fast to tie.  I find myself caring less and less about a fly looking good and more and more about effectiveness and ease of tying.  These flies just look buggy.  If you are interested in trying this fly for yourself, you can purchase the material straight from the originator, John Rohmer.  He has lots of other good materials that are also worth checking out.  Personally, I use Black Simi Seal dubbing the most followed closely by Crystal although there are a LOT of other colors to check out.  Try the dubbing on stonefly and other nymph patterns as well as for bodies on streamers.

I'm hoping to add some big stillwater trout to the list of fish I've caught on this pattern now that I live in Colorado.  The float tube is ready for spring and it will be time to hit the mountain lakes before we know it!!!

4 comments:

  1. I'll have to tie some of these. Like you I'm looking for simplicity and how easy it is to tie. Have you tried the dubbing form singlebarbed.biz? It's awesome. What size hook do you normally use? I can never tell from pics but I'm guessing a 10?

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    Replies
    1. Kevin, these are mostly #12 hooks with 3 (one of each color) #10. Those are my go-to sizes for bluegill. For trout, I'll fish these down to a #16 and simply avoid plucking a bunch of fibers out so it is more like a nymph but still with a great buggy look.

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  2. Nice looking flies David. Boulder County is loaded with some decent waters for bluegill and a bass or two.

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  3. David
    The Seal Leech is one of the best nymph flies I have used for bluegill –bar none---I can’t wait to try it on the tailrace for rainbow, because I know I will connect there with it as well. Thanks David for getting me that first little fly some weeks ago, it help me start my quest. That bluegill is awesome, and I hope you find some areas out there to land more that size. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete

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