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, April 18, 2014

Friday Quick Report: Guide's Day Off


So I'm running low on time today so I'll keep this as brief as possible.  The last two days, the Caney Fork had a couple of windows with no generation for all of us wade fisherman.  That didn't last long as today they are running water all day again, but it was nice to get out while I could.

With no trips scheduled on Wednesday and of course wanting to see how the river is fishing, I took off and timed it so I would arrive just as the water was falling out enough to get in the river and fish.  It didn't take long for me to see some MASSIVE fish busting on the surface or at least so it appeared. My first thought was, "Oh no, the stripers are already here. Too bad for the trout!"  After getting a glimpse of fins and tails breaking the surface, I soon concluded that it wasn't stripers and started to wonder what in the world was going on.

Eventually I discovered the commotion was made by spawning Bigmouth Buffalo.  I'm not entirely convinced that there weren't some carp in the mix as well but let's just say I was in awe.  I've always heard about these fish but never run into them in large numbers on the upper river and by the time I see them on the lower river later in the year, they are very tightlipped.

Running my nymph/midge rig through the deeper water eventually resulted in a hookup.  Wow! These things can pull!!!  My arm is still sore.  After catching a couple on the midge, yeah, that's right, I said a MIDGE on 6x no less, I was worn out and decided to go looking for trout.


That's a size 22 gray midge

The net opening is 16" x 22" for reference and this was not the largest I caught...

In some deeper water downstream I started catching some rainbows with regularity and had a large trout, probably a brown, break me off with just a couple of good headshakes.  The trout were showing a preference for the nymphs which was interesting.  I never did get around to fishing a dry/dropper rig  but they probably would have eaten the Zebra Midge fished that way.  Late in the day I even found a skipjack for a rather unusual slam of rainbow and brown trout, buffalo, and skipjack.  Fun trip for sure!

Fresh hatchery 'bow

Deeper water was the ticket...

The good news is that the midge hatches are getting stronger and the fish are responding.  The Buffalo are in the river as well and can definitely provide some entertainment if you've never hooked one.

This brown fought twice his size and had me convinced a big fish was on for a while.

Yep, spring is definitely here when the dogwoods start blooming!

12 comments:

  1. David
    This is why you need to guide, because only you could figure that this huge Buffalo would take a tiny 22 size midge. Amazing you landed this brute with that size fly! Nice looking trout, especially the brown ----can't wait for our trip --thanks for sharing

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    Replies
    1. Bill, I'll be glad to take the credit but in all honesty I think I lucked into it more than anything else...

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  2. David
    Forgot to mention, I landed a nice spot on Smith Thursday using one of the Super Nymphs you tied for me recently.
    http://btrussell-fishingthroughlife.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've never heard of the Bigmouth Buffalo. From the looks of it, my guess would be a relative of the Carp. From the size I would say FUN was the definitive word. OK, so the trout were fun too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mark, it definitely looks pretty similar to the carp in a lot of ways and fun is definitely the right word for all the fish I caught! Thanks for the comment.

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  4. Amazing the selection of fish! Good going David.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Howard! I never cease to be amazed at the variety we have.

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  5. Nice report David! Awesome fish and great pics! I have to agree with Mark never heard of the Bigmouth Buffalo. Thanks for sharing. Tightlines

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! It is not a fish you run into every day for sure. I've had to do a bit of research to learn more since catching it...

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  6. David I ran into the same thing Thursday. They were schooling almost all the way to the bluff. Do you know what kind of effect they have on the trout population? Once I got away from them I had some decent luck with scuds and sowbugs #16 and 20 on a sinking tip line.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that, if anything, it will have a positive effect. The largest fish I hooked (and broke off) that was a trout was in the thick of the action and probably eating protein rich eggs. The fish will definitely take advantage of the additional food source for the next few days.

      Speaking of scuds and sow bugs, I've seen more of them in the river this year than anytime I remember this early in the year. The moss and weeds on the river bottom should bring about a fantastic year for the fishing!

      Thanks for the comment!

      Delete

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