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

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Caney!!!

Now that I'm blessed with tailwaters full of large wild trout, I had almost forgotten how much I enjoyed fishing on the Caney Fork.  Those little stockers with rubbery fins rubbed raw by the concrete abode they call home for the first portion of their life can provide a lot more fun than I remembered.  My first venture onto the river this year finally happened on Wednesday morning.  Anticipation and excitement woke me up around 5:30.  Not too long after I was on my way.

Driving west through early morning light as the sun slowly edged higher behind me, I had a chance to recall other trips to the river.  I remembered when I first started fishing the river and discovered that the browns in an undisclosed area had a fondness for terrestrials.  Next I remembered that I had not had much luck in that area for many years now.  Past float trips were recalled with equal fondness and before I knew it I was exiting I-40 and rolling past Happy Hollow.  Crowds of early arrivals encouraged me to keep going in my search for fresh water.

The dam was conscientiously checked and also dismissed, again due to crowds.  Finally my car led me over the dam and down to Lancaster.  Only one car was there ahead of me.  I got out and chatted a bit with the two guys getting ready to fish.  Its always a pleasure meeting new people on the river.  I wished them luck as they headed down.  Remembering the forecast high of 96 degrees, I decided to wet wade, something I have rarely if ever done on the Caney unless floating.  Best decision of the day...

I decided to rig up by the water.  Normally I do this so I can first check if there is any obvious hatch situation going on.  Enough trout were dimpling the surface that a dry/dropper rig seemed a logical choice.  My long-time favorite Caney Fork rig has been a Parachute Adams with a midge dropped behind it anywhere from 1-2 feet.  Just like that I was ready to fish!

My casts unfurled so nicely that I even thought to myself, what nice casts today!  I'm rarely if ever conceited, I promise, but you know those days when you find yourself in the zone without even really trying?  Well this was one of them for me.  I haven't fished enough lately so my casting arm was fresh and....oh yeah, this isn't a professional sports report, just a fishing story.

Anyway, so here was my little #16 or #18 Parachute Adams floating high with a midge hanging temptingly below when a little brown trout swam by and noticed breakfast.  That was fish number one. The fish were all up in the riffles so I soon moved there until the sun was on the water.  About the time the sun hit I happened to look upstream.  The view was so beautiful that I just paused and absorbed the scene, until I remembered my camera that is.  What perfectly calm water!


The mist was thick for a while, but as you can see above the sun soon burned it off.  After catching 7-8 of the little stocker browns, I arrived at the stage of I wonder what the fish won't eat?  Several nymphs and streamers were attempted but the fish clearly wanted midges and not much else.  About this time, a boat drifted by, and I got to talk to another angler.  A couple of other fishermen in 2-3 hours of fishing is not bad!

I wandered down the river utilizing a favorite technique for long drifts while wading.  My reward was a fat rainbow that looked pretty healthy!



Getting bored, I decided to head back to the car and explore some more of the river.  Down at Betty's Island it didn't seem as if much was going on but the crowds were still at Happy Hollow, until I realized that there really weren't any crowds.  The number of people actually on the water did not compare to the number of cars in the lot.  This pleasant discovery encouraged me to fish at Happy for a while and I'm glad I did.  In addition to some freshly stocked browns, I also discovered brookies and some more 'bows.  A couple of the browns were a bit larger in the 12"-14" category and fought like fish larger than they were.




By the time I started thinking about home, I had caught more than my fair share of fish.  I was starting to get hungry and thought about the nice air conditioning back home.  That did it and I headed back up to the car.

Tomorrow I'm headed back.  Expect another report.  Next week?  The Smokies, and some smallmouth, and maybe even musky.  Stay tuned for more!!!

4 comments:

  1. We move, we fish other places, but we never forget, that is unless you're old and then you use "senior moment" as an excuse.

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  2. David
    I have been waiting for this report. I knew it would be just a matter of time before you made it to the Caney. Lancasters is my favorite on the Caney, because most of the time there are no crowds. I am hoping to make a trip sometimes this month there, but I don’t know exactly when. I am looking forward to your next post. Thanks for sharing

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  3. David
    I forgot to mention I am really impressed with those trout you landed--congrats!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Glad to see you made it out to the Caney, been a while since I have seen one your posts from there. Enjoy your time back home!

    ReplyDelete

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