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, September 06, 2013

New Water

Having lived here in Colorado for more than a year now, I'm still exploring new water.  Some places are obviously way out of the way such as high alpine lakes.  Others are quite accessible, I just haven't tried them out yet.  South Boulder Creek was one such destination.  Close to Boulder, the tailwater section receives a lot of pressure.  Finding open water can be challenging.  The hatches are worth it though.

I arrived right in the middle of the day.  Sleeping in is always attractive on my days off so I had a leisurely morning.  By the time I arrived, I considered myself fortunate to grab the last open parking space.  Armed with my favorite 5 weight and ready to do combat with the anticipated crowds, I started walking downstream.

Whenever I fish tailwaters, be it here in the west or back east, I always notice people standing right in the middle of the better runs.  This day was no different.  Some of the best holes had people right on top of where they should be fishing.  So much for stealth.  Meandering down the river, I found some nice spots, but each time I was nearly ready to jump in, I would notice another angler already working the water.

A rough canyon stretch that was better left to the wild critters was finally free of any other fisher folk.  Carefully working my way down a boulder field, I pushed through the tangle of willows lining the stream only to discover that I wouldn't be wading far.  The water was deep and swift.


Very carefully I worked the edges.  Then I waded as far out as I dared and worked the far current seam.  Sure enough, tight to the boulder providing a break in the current, my first fish rose energetically.



After a few more casts, I noticed the water just upstream had been vacated.  Hating to fish used water but preferring it over swimming, I somehow slithered and stumbled my way upstream over rocks, through willows....and found a paradise.


The section I was now gazing over was a bit wider meaning I could wade all the way across if I was careful.  By this time, drakes, PMDs, rusty spinners, caddis, and a few stoneflies were all making an appearance.  I love fishing big dries and dug out a big Parachute Adams that was close in size to the drakes I was seeing.  Fish started to hammer the big dry as soon as I tossed it out.

Working the closer water first, I slowly started fanning out with my casting to cover the water meticulously.  On just the other side of the main current, I noticed a couple of rises.  Casting over, a better fish took the fly and promptly headed for fast water.  For a couple of minutes it was touch and go.  Then the fish went over the rapids below, and I just knew I had lost it.  Incredibly, the 5x tippet held, and slowly I regained control.  It wasn't until I slipped the net under the fish that I looked up and noticed several spectators giving me the thumps up.  Glad I landed that fish!



By now the hatch was getting heavier and fish were rising everywhere.  Proceeding slowly upstream, I caught fish after fish, missing as many or more than I was landing.  Most were small to medium sized rainbows and browns although every once in a while a better fish would eat.


Taking time to look at the scenery, I noticed signs of fall on the far bank and took time to take pictures. The heat is still holding on here on the plains, but it will be no time at all before the nights are cool and crisp and the browns and brookies are spawning.  The elk are already bugling up in Rocky Mountain National Park.  The best time of year has arrived!!!


2 comments:

  1. David
    First off congrats on not taking a spill in some fast and deep water. The colors on those bow are astounding. You might want to consider a wading staff on your next outing. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ah, my favorite place to trip, stumble and fall! Beautiful post there buddy. We really need to meet up there. I know a place that is made for your wading skill. Me...I'll just take pictures.

    ReplyDelete

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