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

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tennessee River

One of my favorite places to fish during my college days was the Tennessee River in Chattanooga.  I could be on the water with only a quick 20 minute drive at a moment's notice.  One of the more intriguing aspects of this fishery, at least for me, was the great variety in species available to the fisherman.  Largemouth and smallmouth bass, white and yellow bass, stripers, drum, catfish, crappie, bluegill and other panfish, and let's not forget the skipjack, all inhabit the river (along with a lot of other species).

In the winter, there would often be some phenomenal shad kills that brought on some good surface eats.  In general, you can almost always catch something on the river.  So when I had plans to be in Chattanooga for a couple of days last week, I naturally decided to bring along a fly rod, just in case.  Sure enough, some time was free one afternoon, and I quickly jumped at the opportunity.

Arriving at the river, I rigged up quickly with a 7 weight rod and full sinking line.  A short leader of 12 pound test fluorocarbon led to a white Stacked Blond.  Trailing behind that I had a small weighted marabou streamer that has been very successful for me over the years on warm water rivers.  In the past, I would have caught most of my fish on the smaller of the two flies, but for this trip the larger Stacked Blond in white did the trick.  I managed a couple of white bass and one small yellow bass.


The local Blue Heron population is alive and well.  Watching these birds is always entertaining so I spent some time just enjoying and of course using my camera.  Invariably they are much better and more patient fishermen than I am.


I had obligations and couldn't stay long.  A quick 45 minutes went by all too quickly but I'm already looking forward to another chance to fish there.  Hopefully that will happen sometime in the next couple of months.  Before I know it the white bass and skipjack will be running and spring will be here.

6 comments:

  1. I've never heard of a yellow bass. Sounds interesting....

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    Replies
    1. They are fairly small and closely related to white bass. The best part about them is that they always seem to be hungry!

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  2. Perfect. Those little snippets of opportunities add up - in fish caught, lessons learned, and time on the water, often water a guy wouldn't have fished otherwise.

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    Replies
    1. Bryan, so true! I think that those little trips are often more important in terms of learning and progressing than the long trips. When I go on a long trip, I usually have a predetermined idea of what I should do and probably stick with it longer than I should even when things aren't going my way. On short trips, I am a lot more flexible it seems...

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  3. Merry Christmas David!

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    Replies
    1. Merry Christmas Howard! Thanks for supporting the Trout Zone and being a great blogger buddy!

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