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

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Here Comes Fall

Fall colors in Tennessee


Just like that, summer is over. Earlier this week, I saw a graph of the streamflow on Little River that went back several years. I noticed that, basically every year, we end up with the lowest water of the year in September. That is normal. Thankfully it looks like we are just about out of the woods.

Some rain fell across the Park yesterday and more should fall both today through Saturday. Amounts are not overly impressive, at least not yet. As low as the streams were getting though anything will help. Best of all we will see highs in the 60s and 70s and lows down well into the 50s for this next week. An early cool snap to kick off the fall season will get both fish and fishermen in the mood for the great fishing coming up over the next two months.

In the meantime, after guide trips through next Wednesday, I'm off for the land of Yellowstone. I have always dreamed of a trip taken in the autumn, and while I would love to stay all the way to the closing weekend for fishing in early November, I'll instead be heading back to Tennessee to take people fishing through our own fantastic fall fishing season. Don't worry, I'll be getting out to fish for myself a lot as well.

If you haven't booked your guide trip for fall, don't wait too much longer. Prime dates are filling fast and I'm booked solid until October 14. Call/text me at (931) 261-1884 or email me at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com to book. The fishing should be good through at least the end of October and quite possibly well into November depending on how soon we get the first major cold snap.

6 comments:

  1. It's kind of hard to think Fall is here when it's 102 degrees outside. Send some our way.

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    Replies
    1. Mark, hopefully this will be the fall and winter that the weather pattern finally shifts and you guys get some water!

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  2. Wow, I must have misunderstood. I thought I won an all expense paid trip to Yellowstone with you?

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    Replies
    1. Howard, sorry but I think you missed the fine print. Here is the blown up version: "Round trip travel to and from Yellowstone not included. Licenses, flies, and equipment not included. Food and beverages not included. Trip only includes camping space in a Yellowstone campground." Seriously though, what's a short drive up to Yellowstone? Come up and fish! Unless I see major changes in life between now and then, next fall will feature Colorado so stay tuned for that.

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  3. Good luck out west. A friend of mine is Yellowstone bound too, leaving on Sunday.

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    Replies
    1. It seems like a good time to be going other than the low water across the area.

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