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

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Timber Rattlesnakes and Other Dangers in the Woods

This is your yearly reminder to be careful out there! There are lots of dangerous critters including timber rattlesnakes that are on the move and more aggressive than normal from now through August and into September. By October, things should be slowing down.

This time of year, we see the bald-faced hornets making nests over the creeks up in the Smokies. In fact, just last week I got nailed by one after a client's failed hook set caught a branch with a nest hanging from it. We never saw the nest until it was too late. Earlier this week, I almost had another run in and just yesterday, we counted 3-4 nests just on one short section of stream.

Always take time to look around before casting, especially this time of year. Of course, it is a good idea to do that anyways to find where your obstacles are, but especially for safety purposes right now.

Something else to be careful of right now are the snakes. On Monday of this week, we saw a timber rattlesnake in the woods on a guide trip. I warned the guys that sometimes the timber rattlesnakes will be down along the creek and even swim or be on rocks in the middle of the creek this time of year. Last evening, one of them emailed me to tell me that they had indeed seen one swimming in the creek and included a picture from after it crawled out on a rock mid-stream. Here is the snake we saw during the guide trip.

Timber rattlesnake in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park


In other words, the woods are a bit dangerous right now. That doesn't mean you shouldn't be fishing or hiking. On the contrary, this is an excellent time to be out fishing but be prudent when moving through the woods. Don't stick your hands into any dark holes or reach up over rocks while climbing around in the stream unless you can see where you are reaching. Watch for yellow jacket nests and hornet nests. In addition to the timber rattlesnakes, be on the lookout for copperheads right now also. In general, be mindful of your surroundings and you should have a great time out there!

10 comments:

  1. David
    Good post, I am no fan of snakes or anything that stings. Stay safe--thanks for sharing

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    Replies
    1. Bill, I don't really mind the snakes as long as I spot them before they get too close. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Anonymous7:44 PM

    David, thanks for making note of the fact that a Rattlesnake can swim. I have written about a couple of occasions that I had run-ins with Rattlesnakes in the water while fishing. I am often questioned about it. Most folks just don't think Rattlesnakes can swim. I got news for them!

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    Replies
    1. Mel, you are right for sure. They swim very well and even seem like they might be enjoying it!

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  3. Yikes! Glad I live in a place with very few poisonous snakes. Pretty, but happy to give them a good berth.

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    Replies
    1. I see more than I really care to and wish we had fewer for sure.

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  4. Luckily we don't have timber rattlers here, but we do have the smaller prairie rattlers galore in the area where I live. Thanks for the heads up David.

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    Replies
    1. Howard, I've only seen one prairie rattler in my life and it was a big one on a back road in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Beautiful snake but it would make me jumpy if one snuck up on me.

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  5. Some great reminders! I'm usually good at being mindful of my surroundings when I'm strolling through the woods or working a small covered stream. Haven't seen any nests/hives, yet, but I know I will soon be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Justin, it is definitely that season. Yellow jackets as well although I haven't seen as many of them...yet.

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