Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 10/17/2018

Fishing continues to be good to excellent in the Great Smoky Mountains of east Tennessee. Delayed harvest streams are also being stocked and fishing well in east Tennessee and western North Carolina.

In the Smokies, fall bugs are in full swing. We have been seeing blue-winged olives almost daily although they will hatch best on foul weather days. They are small, typically running anywhere from #20-#24 although a few larger ones have also shown up. A few Yellow Quills are still hanging on in the mid to high elevation brook trout water although not for long. October caddis (more properly, great autumn sedges) are hatching in good numbers now on the North Carolina side of the Park and just starting on the Tennessee side. Terrestrials still have a place in your fly box as well although they are definitely winding down for the year. Isonychia nymphs, caddis pupa, and BWO nymphs will get it done for your subsurface fishing. Have some October Caddis (#12) and parachute BWO patterns (#18-#22) for dry flies and you should be set. Brook trout are still eating smaller yellow dry flies as well. Not interested in matching the hatch? Then fish a Pheasant Tail nymph under a #14 Parachute Adams. That rig can catch fish year round in the Smokies.

Brook and brown trout are now moving into the open to spawn. During this time of year, please be extremely cautious about wading through gravel riffles and the tailouts of pools. If you step on the redd (nest), you will crush the eggs that comprise the next generation of fish. Please avoid fishing to actively spawning fish and let them do their thing in peace.

Our tailwaters are still cranking although the Caney is finally starting to come down. I'm hoping to get some type of a report for there soon. Stay tuned for more on that. Fishing will still be slow overall with limited numbers of fish in that particular river unfortunately.

The Clinch is featuring high water as they try to catch up on the fall draw down. All of the recent rainfall set them back in this process but flows are now going up to try and make up some of the time lost. It is still fishing reasonably well on high water although we are holding off for the low water of late fall and early winter as it is one of our favorite times to be on the river.

Smallmouth are about done for the year with the cooler weather we are now experiencing. Our thoughts will be turning to musky soon, however. Once we are done with guide trips for the year, we'll be spending more time chasing these monsters.

In the meantime, we still have a few open dates in November and one or two in October. Feel free to get in touch with me if you are interested in a guided trip. Thanks!

Photo of the Month: Fishing in Paradise

Photo of the Month: Fishing in Paradise

Friday, January 03, 2014

Smokies Interlude

Part of my plans for Christmas break naturally involved fishing.  However, most of the break was planned for me with family time taking precedence over everything else.  The one small trip I allowed myself was a one day interlude to the rest of my vacation.  Even though conditions were not ideal, I still was happy to visit the Smokies.

Last Thursday, I finalized plans to meet my friend Travis in the Park.  My goal was to get there early, before the sun was on the water, and throw streamers for a while.  He would join me later.  As it turned out, he had the best game plan.  The fish really did not become active until later in the morning as the sun warmed the water just a bit.  Fish will feed in very cold water so it can still be worth getting out during the cold months, contrary to popular opinion.  However, the water temperature's direction is very important.  Even a small increase in water temps can get the trout moving around and active.  The sun warmed the water just enough that we started to see fish up and moving around.

One pool in particular has a good population of trout that are normally willing to eat a well-presented fly.  We all rigged up with nymphs and spread out along the stream.  I worked my way up a small side channel while my friends Travis and Buzz thoroughly worked the pool.


After fishing my little stretch of water, I moved back down to discover that, other than small rainbows, they had not had much catching going on.  Since I had not caught anything, small rainbows sounded better than nothing.  I attached a strike indicator and started working the pool.  A few drifts later the indicator dove, and I found a small rainbow on the end of my line!

There's nothing like getting that first fish out of the way.  Able to relax since the skunk was no longer a possibility, I tossed the double nymph rig a bit longer before changing back to a streamer.  In the winter, when the streams are so cold, I prefer the faster paced method of fishing streamers as opposed to staring at an indicator while my fingers freeze.

Continuing upstream, I found a pool that I know holds some nice fish but one that I've never had much luck in.  This trip would end that.  Just a few casts into my systematic search for trout, a flash indicated a brown in hot pursuit.  The fish abruptly turned away, but I thought I might still have a chance.  Two casts later the fish rose off the bottom again and hammered the streamer.  The heavy tippet allowed me to keep the fight short.  Soon I was releasing the brown back to his pool.  Not a bad last trout for 2013!



Later, I headed in to Townsend for lunch and to stop by and see the crew at Little River Outfitters.  After chatting with Daniel for a while and looking at all the remodeling changes that have been happening, I stumbled upon the fly tying clearance bin.  This has been and, after this trip, continues to be a huge drain on my finances.  I mean, who can pass up a great deal?  I hit the jackpot on this trip when I found a LOT of tiny hooks on sale, perfect for midge and BWO patterns.  I'll be tying small flies in anticipation of the tailwater fishing this upcoming year.  If you tie and stop by LRO, make sure you check out the sales bin.  Your wallet might not appreciate it but think of all the money you will save with some of the super deals you can find there!

2 comments:

  1. David
    Beautiful water you were fishing there, I just checked the LRO report today for fishing and Monday and Tuesday there would be a challenge. Those wild browns are awesome looking this time of the year. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  2. David,
    I am always amazed by your photos. Congrats on your first fish of the year. I have always wanted to fish the Smokies. It is definitely on my to do list. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete

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