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 01, 2014

What A Fish!

One of the toughest parts of guiding is probably similar to raising a kid, but I can only speak from experience on one of those.  I'm talking about watching someone else doing something and you just wish you could step in and help them do everything correctly.  If you're a parent, maybe you can let me know if that's about how it goes or not.  As I guide, I definitely know the feeling.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of guiding Shane for a day in the Smokies.  Having lived in Tennessee for a few years, but never making it over to fish the Smokies, it was high time he learned a little about the Park streams and how to catch the beautiful wild trout there.  With a cool start to the morning, I decided that fishing on Little River would be a good way to start the day and we stopped in a likely area.  After chatting a bit while rigging up and getting on our wading gear, we finally approached the stream.

Looking just downstream, I noticed a spot that I've long suspected had a nice fish.  After getting confirmation from Shane that he was willing to start his day with a challenge, I explained the approach, the cast, and the drift.  He nodded and started to work into position.  After a few drifts in which I felt we weren't getting deep enough, I added another split shot and he resumed casting.  A few casts later the indicator dove convincingly.  When he set the hook, a beautiful brown trout came all the way out of the water in a leap for its life.

Immediately I got nervous.  Fish like that don't come around every day, and certainly not in the Smokies.  Thankfully, I hadn't told Shane that his bottom fly was on with 6x tippet so he wasn't nearly as nervous as I was.  In fact, he was probably one of the calmest anglers I've seen with a nice fish on the other end of the line.  

While I was nervous and really concerned about losing that fish, Shane did everything he needed to perfectly, working downstream with the fish until he was able to lift its head so I could slide the net under it.  I had spent all that time worried, and in the end I didn't need to.  Shane did a great job fighting such a nice brown trout and clearly didn't need any help at all.  There are few people who can say their first Smoky Mountain trout was such a pretty fish.  Congrats to Shane on a job well done and a beautiful Smoky Mountain brown trout!




If you are interested in a guided fly fishing trip in the Great Smoky Mountains, please contact me via email at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com.  

4 comments:

  1. Great fish indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Shane looks as if he is a quick learner. Very nice!

    ReplyDelete
  3. David
    Absolute beautiful brown for the park. Congrats to Shane--thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete

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