Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 11/1/2018

Fishing is good in the Smokies and other mountain streams if you can catch it on a day where the wind is minimal. Otherwise, expect lots of leaves in the water for the next few days. 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 October Caddis are still around as well. Terrestrials are close to being done for the year although we are still seeing a few bees and hornets near the stream. 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. 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 still hoping to get a firsthand report on the Caney Fork soon although it might be sometime next week or the week after before that happens at the earliest. 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 prefer 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. I caught a few yesterday on the Tennessee River while fishing with guide Rob Fightmaster, but overall the best bite is all but over. 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. 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, June 13, 2014

One More Drift

Fishing is as much optimism as anything else, but of course there is a healthy mix of knowledge involved in catching a few trout.  Sometimes, there's even a little voice inside your head that convinces you to stick with it.  I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not but when I'm catching nice fish who's to argue?

Yesterday I had a 1/2 day guide trip in the Park.  The morning was spent on a couple of different streams so my client could see a few different options when it came to Smoky Mountain trout fishing.  After dropping him off and grabbing some lunch, I stopped by Little River Outfitters for a bit to say hi to Byron and Daniel and the rest of the crew.  After getting an excellent first-hand report on the local smallmouth from Byron, I was almost tempted to skip heading back to the Park and chase the bass instead, but thankfully trout won out.

On the drive down Little River to town, I had mentally been talking myself into fishing several good stretches.  One in particular stood out, and I decided to return there.  This is a beautiful section of pocket water interspersed with some smaller pools and a couple of deep runs.  For some reason this short 100 yard stretch does not get fished nearly as often as a lot of Park water but that's just fine by me.  I have always done well the few times I've fished it, and more people fishing it could very well put a damper on future expeditions.

Having just eaten and glad to finally relax after working hard all morning, I took my time rigging up the usual double nymph rig.  Some heavy split shot rounded things out well and assured I would be ticking the bottom.  I began casting lobbing the heavy rig into the deeper water and right away caught a little brown on the dropper.  At least I knew I was on fresh water.

Working slowly upstream, I maneuvered back and forth across the stream.  Catching a fish here and there, I noticed a nice deep slot against the far bank with a big rock on the stream side.  Perfect home for a brown.  Working carefully across the current, I was soon running my flies through the slot and alongside the rock.  A small fish was quickly caught and released but that rock just looked like a spot for a nice brown.  Time and again I got what appeared to be a perfect drift.  Not wanting to waste time on a pointless spot, I eventually decided to move on upstream.

That's when the little voice spoke up and demanded that I cast there once more.  Something subconscious maybe?  I don't know, but that gentle tap as the flies drifted up under the rock yet again was definitely real.  When I set the hook, I felt the hesitation and quickly came tight on a nice fish.

For its size, the fish really fought well, surging back and forth across the stream every time I tried to lift its head and slip the net under.  That it was a pretty brown trout was obvious and naturally gave me extra incentive to be careful and not lose it.  Of course, in a short amount of time (that naturally felt like forever) I was slipping the net under the trout.  After a couple of pictures, I gently held the trout in the current until it was ready to go.  All that effort to spend a minute or so with a fish probably seems ridiculous to some, but I was awfully happy at that moment.



The rest of the evening was anticlimactic.  The Yellow Sally hatch never came on strong although there was some egg laying activity that brought a few fish up.  I stuck with the nymphs and caught a good number of rainbows and small browns, but probably I should have just quit after the nice trout.  The time on the water was relaxing though and much needed.  Catching that nice fish early allowed me to really slow down and focus on the experience for the rest of the time.  I even stopped and took a few stream pictures, something I often forget to do in the rush to find more fish.



Next week I'll be back at it.  Maybe I'll just hit a small stream instead, or maybe I'll chase the larger browns again.  Either way, I know I'll always have an enjoyable time in the Smokies!

If you are interested in a guided trip in the Smokies for wild trout, please contact me at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com or check out my guide site, TroutZoneAnglers.com, for more details.  

4 comments:

  1. Nicely done. The prize for patience is often awesome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mark. The prize was worth the wait.

      Delete
  2. Nice looking fish David. If you were patient then you must be awesome huh?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Howard. The fish was awesome but not me so much. I am blessed though!

      Delete

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