Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 11/21/2017

Fishing is good on the Clinch River right now and that is where I'm doing most of my guiding and fishing. The Smokies have been good as well. The Caney Fork is just now starting to offer some decent windows again so that is great news!

In the Smokies, the brown trout are wrapping up the spawn. Over the next few weeks, the opportunity to catch larger than average brown trout is definitely elevated. I like to throw nymphs or streamers right now and through the winter. Next spring should be good with hatches starting by the first of March and peaking by late April or early May. Spring is one of the best times to fish in the Smokies so start planning that trip now!

The Caney Fork is starting to offer some wade opportunities as well as some good schedules for half day floats. If you would like to get in a late season float or wade trip here, let me know as I have a few openings over the next few weeks.

This winter is looking like a good bet on the musky streams. We'll be out hunting the toothy critters in the near future so stay tuned for more on that!

Photo of the Month: Evening in the North Woods

Photo of the Month: Evening in the North Woods

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Exploring the Smokies


While I have fished a majority of the larger drainages in the Smokies with only a few left to check off the list, there are still many small tributaries to explore. Many of these are far enough off of the beaten path that I prefer visiting them with a friend. The streams of the Park are rugged so there is the safety element, and of course it is hard to beat good company while out on the stream. Fly fishing small streams is definitely best with a friend or fly fishing guide.

When Mark from Fishing Small Streams contacted me and mentioned that he would be passing through the area and fishing for a couple of days, I saw an opportunity to meet a fellow small stream enthusiast and explore some new water. Fast forward a couple of months to mid May, and I'm headed up to the Smokies to meet Mark at the campground he is staying at. We discuss the plan for the day while glancing at a map and then head towards the trailhead for our first stream.

A short and pleasant hike gets us to the lower portion of the stream we wanted to target first so we drop in and start fishing. Almost immediately, Mark caught the first fish of the day.


Moving up the narrow creek required climbing over and around large boulders. The exertion was worth it though. Nearly every little pocket was good for at least one trout, the majority of which were some of the prettiest brook trout you will find anywhere although a few rainbows were in the mix as well. Both of us caught several gorgeous fish. Even though they were all small, they made up for it with an attitude suitable for a fish several times their diminutive size.



As we moved along up the stream, I paused to take some scenery shots as well as a picture or two of Mark fishing. On these small streams, shots of a fisherman in action helps put the stream into proper perspective.




Later, I discovered that Mark had taken a few shots of me as well. Here is one of my favorites.

Photo Courtesy of Mark Wittman

I was thoroughly amused when I arrived at the campground and discovered that I would not be the only one wearing camo for this trip. Apparently small stream aficionados think alike.

After we had fished perhaps a quarter mile of water, we decided to hike back and and continue our marathon fishing day by heading to another stream. This one would be new only to Mark. Our decision was confirmed when we reached my car at the trailhead and discovered that another fisherman had arrived while we were fishing and had undoubtedly started somewhere above us. Fishing used water is never a good thing on these small streams so we definitely left at a good time.

The next stream was a lot larger as its name would suggest. Rainbows and a few brown trout inhabit its waters with brook trout up in the headwaters as is the norm on most Smoky Mountain streams. With limited time, we decided to just fish right near where I parked the car. On most streams, I prefer to hike in a ways to get away from the crowds, but this particular stream seems to get less fishing pressure than most. The fish were responding with enthusiasm right away and mostly to dry flies. Does it get any better than this?




By this point, we were both getting a little tired but still had another stream or two to check out. Thankfully, both of them were close to the campground he was staying at so we headed back. To make a long story short, both streams near the campground were great for both small feisty rainbows and some more beautiful specks. The brook trout in this area are prolific, so much so that at least one area stream is used as a collection stream by the NPS when doing brook trout restoration efforts.

With the sun sinking low in the sky and a long drive home, I said goodbye and headed out. It had been a good day on the water with a new friend. Let me know when you are headed down this way again Mark and we'll find some more new streams to check out!

Read Mark's take on our day and the rest of his time in the Smokies HERE.

If you are interested in a guided fly fishing trip to fish small streams in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, please contact me at (931) 261-1884 or at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com. Thank you!

4 comments:

  1. Was wonderful to meet you! Spending the day with you was a highlight to my trip! I have to say that I also noticed your camo shirt right away and smiled inside. I often get strange looks from other fisherman wearing it but stealth is paramount on small streams and that includes thinking about what you are wearing. If you are ever up in New England shoot me an email!

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    Replies
    1. Mark, hopefully we'll be able to fish together again sometime. It was a great day out on the water!

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  2. A simply spectacular river and beautiful fish, congratulations.

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