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

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Not Every Day

"Can you handle a really rough stream? Like climbing over boulders and scrambling over logs?"  When the potential client answered in the affirmative, I decided to take a chance.  As a guide, safety always comes first.  Oh, sure, when I'm out fishing on my own I've been known to occasionally cut corners in the safety department.  I've taken some really hard falls also.  Getting into those tough to access streams is sometimes worth it although not always.

For this particular guide trip I decided to try a stream that is tough to access but not terribly difficult to navigate once you are in the stream bed.  Just hope it doesn't storm upstream.  Getting out includes a bushwhack and mountain climbing if you try in the wrong spot, maybe even if you try in the right spot.

The other detail for this particular trip is that my client would be a first time fly fisherman.  As with all guide trips, I never know for sure what to expect but with beginners that big question mark looms a little larger.  Some people take to the sport like a fish takes to water and others are more like Frog's Fanny meeting up with water.  Of course, the majority end up being somewhere between these two extremes.  Only the rarest of individuals can pick up a fly rod and start casting the rod with one hand, tending the line with the other, throwing mends in the line when necessary, setting the hook as quickly as required, and in general doing all of the little things that add up to fish caught.


When we arrived stream side, accessing the water was our first challenge.  After a long walk we got to the spot where we would jump in and start fishing upstream.  I gave a quick explanation of the mechanics of fly casting, and gave Stephen the fly rod.  Within about ten casts, with only a couple of suggestions, he was casting.  I showed him about holding the line with his other hand and he immediately started casting like he had done it his whole life.

Moving up the stream he started catching fish here and there, sometimes several per pool.  The first fish of the day was a gorgeous brook trout.


Later, another pool was good for a Smoky Mountain double.  Seriously, I've fished the Park a lot and had this happen only a couple of times.  This guy was on fire.


Eventually the day was over, but not before Stephen impressed me with how quickly he took to the sport.  There are very few beginners out there who can legitimately say they caught 25 or 30 trout on their first day of fly fishing.


The scenery was great as well.  The Rhododendron is past its peak at low elevations but good in the mid to high elevations right now.


It was a pleasure having Stephen out on the water for a day of fly fishing.  I wish him the best as he continues in this new hobby.

If you are interested in a guided fly fishing trip in the Smokies, please contact me at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com or call/text (931) 261-1884 or see TroutZoneAnglers.com for more information.  

4 comments:

  1. David
    Stunning scenery and some beautiful trout as a bonus. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice going David. Come back to Colorado. Apparently I need a guide on Clear Creek.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Howard, I'll send my resume over to area shops and let them know I'm already lining up clients...

      Delete

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