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

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Back From Yellowstone


For the past two weeks, I have wandered at will across Yellowstone National Park, always with two or three fly rods strung up and ready to go. I caught large brown, rainbow, and cutthroat trout and mountain whitefish. Taking a vacation with no special plans other than to fish was a lot of fun. The opportunity to wake up each day and decide where to fish on a whim was refreshing, but I'm nearly as excited to get back to my streams in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Caney Fork.

The fish above was caught on the Firehole River below the falls and was one of the fish that had made its way up from Hebgen Lake. Lots of great fish were caught so stay tuned for much more on this great fishing trip including plenty of pictures and even some pattern tips and recipes!

I expect some large trout to be caught on the Caney Fork over the next two months, primarily subsurface on nymphs and midges but also a few nice fish will come to streamers and even dry flies.

In the Great Smoky Mountains, rainfall over the last few days has helped to bump up stream levels. We can only hope for more rain as we go into the fall season but the fishing should be great regardless. Look for fall caddis, blue-winged olives, and still some slate drakes and golden stoneflies to keep the fish fed.  Drop a small nymph or midge under your dry fly to double the fun. Terrestrials will also account for some fish up until the first hard freeze so keep those inch worm and ant imitations handy. Beetles have been gone for a while but if you come across a particularly difficult fish, try a beetle on it.

The dry fly fishing should be good to great for at least the next month and perhaps well into November if we get a good year with no extremely cold fronts coming through until later in the month. Stock up on #12-#14 Orange Stimulators and #18-#24 Blue-winged Olive Parachutes and head for the mountains to enjoy the fishing before winter hits and slows things down.

6 comments:

  1. Hi David
    I really wish we had been out there when you made your trip, I would have tried to make a connection and fished with you. We were blown away by the beauty of Yellowstone when we were there. Did you stay in the park?
    The Shoshone River was beautiful, did you fish any part it? Looking forward to your extended report. Thanks for sharing

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    Replies
    1. Bill, it would have been fun meeting up with you. Perhaps another you! I did not fish the Shoshone River at all on this trip. I stayed at Norris and Madison campgrounds while I was there.

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  2. That thing looks so much like a steelhead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought the same thing. Pulled pretty hard also but I doubt anything close to as hard as a steelhead although I can't say from personal experience.

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  3. Been waiting for you to get back to dazzle us with more like the rainbow above.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Howard, I'm not sure about dazzling, but I have some more fish pictures coming along.

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