Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 10/17/2017

Fishing is excellent in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park now. We have had a couple of shots of rain the last week and a half which has helped keep the streams flowing strong for this time of year. The cool overnight temperatures will get the brown and brook trout seriously thinking about spawning. Please be careful this time of year and avoid walking on fine sand and gravel in riffles and tailouts. Leave the spawning trout alone so they can do their thing. When you find brook or brown trout that aren't spawning, they are aggressive and looking to feed. Recent guide trips on brook trout waters have been anywhere from good to excellent. Streams with rainbows and browns have been excellent as well. There are good numbers of fish to be caught in the Park right now!

A variety of bugs have been hatching lately. On cloudy days, Blue-winged Olives have hatched along with some other small mayflies. Various caddis, including the Great Autumn Brown Sedges (often referred to as October Caddis by locals) are hatching and provide a nice bite for the trout. Little Black stoneflies are hatching as well. Fish are eating both dry fly and nymph imitations and even still hitting some terrestrials. Don't forget your beetle, ant, and inchworm fly box. A Parachute Adams or Yellow or Orange Stimulator should work well for a dry fly. Smaller bead head Pheasant Tail nymphs should work as a dropper. Caddis pupa are also catching a lot of fish as are stonefly nymphs.

On the Caney Fork, things have been tough lately. The river has been running warmer than is normal this time of year because of heavy generation earlier this year and also with a stain due to the sluice gate operations. Work has been underway to install vented turbines on the generators and they have been working to try and tweak them to improve dissolved oxygen. One day, we were floating and they were checking the DO and found it at 1.5 ppm. If I remember correctly, the minimum target is 6 ppm. Obviously 1.5 is way too low. Trout were sitting along the banks and in back eddies gasping for oxygen. Hopefully all of this won't have too much of a long term effect on the fishery, but needless to say, things are a bit difficult as of right now. Cooler weather should help. Once the lake turns over, oxygen and clarity will improve quickly.

The Clinch River has been fishing well if you can hit it on low water days. Small nymphs and midges will get the job done here.

Smallmouth bass are about done for the year, but we will be back out on the musky streams again soon looking for the toothy critters. This is tough fishing, but the rewards can be sizable.

Photo of the Month: Night Time Hog

Photo of the Month: Night Time Hog

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Be Prepared

One of the most important lessons any fisherman can learn is to always be prepared.  As a fly fisherman, it is easy to take this to the extreme.  This is why we have boxes and boxes of flies that we rarely if ever fish, instead opting for the same old Parachute Adams or Yellow Stimulator.  Of course, when you are always prepared, you can effectively fish any hatch that comes your way.

I've had to learn this lesson the hard way more and more than once I might add.  On a recent float with David Perry, I showed up prepared to toss streamers the whole way.  On the spur of the moment I tossed a 5 weight in the boat just in case.  Of course, when we found fish rising to midges I remembered that my midge box was back in the car.  Oops.  One good thing did come of this trip.  At some point we rigged that 5 weight up with a bead head nymph and one of those pinch on indicators. Then, at the end of the day, I just kept the whole thing rigged and ready.

Well, I fished that rig a few times over the last week or so.  I caught some panfish at Cumberland Mountain State Park, and a nice big delayed harvest rainbow on the Tellico.  All of this was done in between the episodes of high water.

Fast forward to yesterday.  I'm heading down to Chattanooga for a few hours and as I'm driving along, I remembered reading something about a delayed harvest stream right along my route! Can things get any better?  Well, yes and that is where being prepared comes in.  I had that rod still rigged and ready to go.  It didn't take me too long to figure out that I should probably just stop and do a quick investigation.



Fifteen minutes later, I had landed 3-4 rainbow trout and was back on the road after one of the better detours I've ever taken while out driving.  Never even got my feet wet either.  That rod is still in my car.  In fact, I'm contemplating a trip over to Cumberland Mountain State Park again this afternoon and if I make it over there, it is always better to be prepared.  Of course, I might end up just taking the camera for a walk which is great as well, but if I see trout rising, I guarantee I'll be ready.

4 comments:

  1. Now you have me thinking David. I travel light with a Vedavoo Sling Pack, but have a large bag in my car with things that I bring along just in case. Why do I always need something from the when I'm a mile away?

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    1. Howard, I think traveling light has many benefits including less wear and tear on your body. I switched to a hip pack many years ago and my shoulders and back have been thanking me ever since. Of course, I sometimes leave things in my car as well and have to go back and get them. The worst time was when I realized I had left my wading boots at home after driving 30 minutes. That was a long detour on the way to the stream...

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  2. Sometimes you read a post, take it all in, and move on to your next adventure. However, in this case, this is such an important piece of advice that this post should have a "Headline" label stuck to it, somehow. Thanks a bunch for making this ol' Geezer take another look before he sets off on another trip.

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    Replies
    1. Mel, glad you found this useful. I have a mental checklist that I always run through before every fishing trip. I don't think it is possible to be "too" prepared...

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