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, November 28, 2013

Stop. Relax.

While life as I know it is almost over, I'm sure that whatever is waiting around the corner will be great and perhaps even better than what I'm enjoying now.  For those that are already lost, read this prior post to get brought up to speed.

While the current job situation is still murky at best, I've discovered that good things can come from murky waters and large trout too.  Instead of sitting at home and feeling sorry for myself, I decided to get out and sample what Colorado has to offer in the fishing department.  It appears increasingly likely that I won't have that privilege soon so I have to enjoy the experience while it lasts.  In fact, I've sampled a fair amount lately and can report the following: El Dorado Canyon is awesome to fish in the snow, Clear Creek is getting getting icy, South Boulder Creek is fishing great just below Gross Reservoir, the Big Thompson does still have fish in the upper canyon at least, and the dry fly fishing on the Arkansas tailwater in Pueblo is phenomenal right now.

Yep, when life gets tough you just have to stop, leave all the stress behind, and relax.  I'm not very good at the relaxing part, and I suspect there's a strong connection between fishing and my stress levels.  Why else would I keep going back when things look bleak?  At the very least, I can report that fishing does successfully keep my mind off of the lack of a job come January 1.

So, things are looking up, if only because I've been blessed to spend a lot of time out on the water.  I'm excited to see where the next chapter in life takes me.  I'm confident that God has a plan even if I am still searching for it.  Until I discover it, I'll just have to stop and relax.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Not My Plans

We can plan, but the ability to change direction is crucial.  Yesterday, I found out that my school will be downsizing due to budget cuts.  Along with two friends, I was on the list of cuts to be made.  Right now I have no idea where I will end up.  Teaching is a lot of fun and very rewarding, but at this point I may end up heading in a different direction.  I may end up back in Tennessee and if I do I'll probably do some part-time guiding at least to help make ends meet for a while.  So, basically, while this is not my plans, I'm ready for a new adventure and new challenge.  Something in the fly fishing industry would be pretty cool but right now the best I'm hoping for is perhaps that bit of guiding I already mentioned.  However, if anyone has any information on job openings I'm all ears.  As things are now pretty uncertain and hectic, I will not be posting as much.  Please know I'm doing great and once I have a chance to get out on the water I'll still be providing the fishing reports and information that you are used to seeing here.  This too shall pass but in the meantime your thoughts and prayers would be much appreciated.  Thank you!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Not Much Color

I'm looking out my window and noticing that it looks suspiciously like winter outside.  The leaves are pretty much gone and the grass is dead.  There's just not much color left other than the crisp blue sky.  Yesterday, in an hour or so on Boulder Creek, I noticed that the fish have moved into winter mode for the most part.  That doesn't mean that aren't eating, just that the water is super clear and low and the fish are accordingly spooky.  Oh, and the water is cold...

Looking back over pictures from the last couple of months reminds me of the great fall season I enjoyed.  Perhaps the most epic trip I did this fall was a 2 day grand tour of Colorado with my parents when they visited in early October.  The huge loop took in Independence and Kebbler passes, Aspen, Gunnison, and many other towns in between.  Of course there really wasn't any fishing on a trip like this but the scenery more than made up for the lack of fishing.  Naturally, family time meant a lot also so that in the end I didn't even miss the fishing.

I'll share some more pictures over the next few days but here are a couple to get things started.



Monday, November 04, 2013

Evening on the River

My favorite time of day to be on the water is evening.  That may have more than a little to do with the fact that I don't like getting up early.  When fishing is on the schedule, I have been known to get up early to find the big ones, but I would much rather stay out late instead if given the option.  Evening on the river is a magical time.  The crowds have usually left although in terms of quality fishing that's always a mystery to me.  In fact, I've noticed that most fishermen seem to leave the river around supper time.  Perhaps there is a correlation there.  Regardless, it is those magical moments in the last light of the day that keep me coming back.


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