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

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Birthday Brown Trout


My birthday is long gone in the rearview mirror by now, but I'm still remembering a nice big brown trout I caught two days before my birthday.  In fact, the picture of this fish was last month's Photo of the Month, but until now I have not told the the story of this trout.

Each year, I have a birthday tradition that includes going fishing.  It doesn't always fall on the exact day, but I always make sure to enjoy some time on the water and relax.  Since I had to do some guiding a couple of days before my birthday, I decided to hang around at the end of the day and get some time in on the water.

Choosing where to fish is always a challenge, but I was soon on a nice stretch of pocket water with a good pool at the top of the section.  Working through the pocket water, I caught some nice rainbow trout on the same rig I had for my client.  Arriving at the pool after slogging through some fast water below, I noticed a nice brown trout out feeding.  Three casts with the nymphs produced one look but no eat, and I knew that to have any chance of catching that fish I would have to change flies.

Searching for the right fly box, I realized with a sinking feeling that it had been left in the car.  This was not the time to leave as I was in perfect position and moving again could spook the fish.  I would have to make do with what I had on me.  Finding a different box, I scrounged around for a good fly.  Noticing a streamer I had tied more as a combination between a joke and an experiment, I shrugged my shoulders and decided to try it out.  Fresh tippet came first and then the fly.  Glancing up, I saw that the fish had moved and would require a few moments of rest before I started casting again.

Finally, it slid back into its feeding position, and I started casting.  The first cast was too far to the left, but the next cast was perfect.  As the fly swung into view near the fish and I worked it with the tip of my rod, the fish charged over and inhaled the streamer.  I set the hook and lurched to my feet from the cramped position on my knees.  Immediate the fish made a run into the faster water below the pool, and I got nervous.  Somewhat encouraged when I saw the fly firmly stuck in the corner of his jaw, I focused on easing the fish out of the heavier current and towards my waiting net.

The moment of truth was anticlimactic as I got the net under the fish.  Sitting down, I held the net under water so the fish could rest and breathe.  After admiring it and taking a couple of pictures, I watched it depart quickly.  Nothing could top that moment so I waded across the stream and headed back to my car.  Some days, it only takes one fish and to ask for more would be greedy.

4 comments:

  1. It is a wonderfully conditioned fish, that's for sure.
    I can't agree with your last statements more. So, so true.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I think mindset is so important in fly fishing and to ask more from the river when it has already given so much seems wrong somehow.

      Delete
  2. That's a beauty for sure David. May you never forget that birthday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Howard! I'm fairly certain I won't forget it...

      Delete

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