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

Saturday, April 11, 2015

South Carolina Trout Fishing: Day Two

Now that we are a month removed from my South Carolina excursion, I'm finally getting around to day two of the adventure. Things got busy in a hurry once the weather turned nice so I'm a little behind. Other great stuff is on the way this week including a trip report from the Smokies last week in which I matched my second best all time day for numbers. The quality was good as well.

So, back to the headwater streams in the northwest corner of South Carolina, after our day one trip to explore the lower reaches of the stream, we were excited to hike in a bit and see how the stream fished higher up. The weather was again perfect and the only fly in the ointment so to speak was the necessity to get back home to help my cousin do some work around the house before it got too late. Seeing as how the stream was relatively close, that was actually not really a problem so we headed out early for a great day on the water.

We headed up the trail, completely unsure of what to expect from the fish. The stream was beautiful though and it was not too hard to imagine a trout or three in every pool and pocket.


Dry flies were still tied on from the day before so we were ready to fish! Heading slowly upstream, we had a few hits and even caught some smaller trout. The fish were obviously there but the action was not quite as fast and furious as the day before. Overcast conditions probably did not help since the sun was not warming the water as early in the day.  Eventually, however, the bugs did start to show up. Quill Gordons were hatching along with a few stoneflies and caddis.

By the time we were getting hungry, we had progressed on up the stream a ways and were needing some energy to fuel our last hours of fishing for this particular trip. Some delicious chili and chips on a cool spring day hit the spot.


Not long after lunch, we started finding some nicer fish. The pools were perfect and obviously provided habitat for quality trout.



While the fish were still not large, they were better than the tiny two to three inch fish we also were catching at times. These wild streams always provide a variety when it comes to the fish size. Most streams have large numbers of one and two year old fish and fewer of the three and four year old fish just because of the natural cycles. That means that any time you are on these streams you better expect to catch a few of the little guys also.

While stopping to catch pictures instead of fish, I had fun with my camera and my cousin took the opportunity to catch a nice rainbow.



What was particularly interesting to me about this rainbow is how golden it appeared and also how dense the spotting is. I'm quite curious about the genetics in this stream. Does anyone know how much coloration like this is a product of genetics versus the environment? The stream produced several of these golden colored rainbows with a lot more yellow compared to the fish I catch in the Smokies. Some of the rainbows looked a little more "normal," though still with a yellow tint.


Eventually, after having more fun with the camera along the way, we reached a good point where we could get out and hustle back down the trail. We were pushing our deadline to get back to my cousin's house and knew we better hurry. What a fantastic day though! I'll be looking forward to getting back down there. I went ahead and got an annual fishing license and am sure there will be more fishing adventures in South Carolina!




6 comments:

  1. Precious waters . By the looks , seems it has exceptional quality to house fish. As for the yellow rainbow trout , it may be due to a set of conditions : food , genetics , environment ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is definitely amazing water! I agree with the combination of factors on the trout as well. Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  2. What a wonderful post David. This looks like a trip where everything came together...beautiful scenery and water, excellent healthy fish and food.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Howard. I couldn't have asked for a better day out on the water and that is for sure!

      Delete
  3. Up here in NH I've found the color of brook trout to be determined largely by their chosen habitat. In the same streams I've caught brookies in dark black pools that were almost jet black themselves...a few pools down where they're holding over sand the fish are almost as golden as your rainbows, all within 100 yards. I'm no biologist but my experience is they camouflage themselves to match their surroundings and I've been told they can do it in a day or so too. All that aside beautiful fish man! Nice job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was leaning largely in the direction of your explanation. This particular stream had a lot of lighter rocks and golden colored sand on the bottom so it would make sense. Thanks for the comment!

      Delete

Newsletter

Subscribe to the Trout Zone Anglers Newsletter!

* indicates required