Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 01/17/2019

Colder weather lately has slowed things down a touch in the Smokies. Thankfully, however, the streams haven't really dropped below 40 degrees so there are always some fish to be found. With a big rain event forecast for this weekend followed by sharply colder temperatures, get out and fish sooner rather than later. Nymphs or streamers are the name of the game this time of year.

On the tailwaters, we are dealing with massive amounts of water That said, while lots of rain this weekend may set us further back, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon. The overall trend over the next 1-3 months is for drier conditions which should allow flows to stabilize and at least allow us to get some float trips in.

Musky fishing has been decent as of late. Flows are generally just about perfect on our favorite musky rivers. With cold weather ahead, this is something we'll probably be doing more of...

Photo of the Month: Cold Weather Jaws

Photo of the Month: Cold Weather Jaws

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Brook Trout in Fall Dress

Smoky Mountain brook trout in fall colors

Some days you just want to catch brook trout. For me, those days occur with frequency although not so often as others probably experience. Normally I would have spent a couple of days dedicated to fishing for brook trout in late September when the fish are on the feed as they prepare for the rigors of the spawn, the weather is still pleasant, in other words the fishing is perfect. This year, I had to suffer through a trip to Yellowstone during late September and then had to make up for it by fishing for brook trout in October during the best of the fall colors. I know, life is tough.

Originally, the day had tentatively been planned as a muskie fishing expedition but through a series of unfortunate circumstances, those plans fell through. Option two appealed to me for a short time before I quickly jumped to option three, fishing for brook trout.


The stream involved a bit of a walk as do most quality brook trout waters. Thankfully the time passed quickly talking with a friend who was able to join me for the day. We were soon walking past water that looked increasingly fishy. Before long, the pressure was too great and we jumped in to start fishing.

Smoky Mountain brook trout stream

Things started off slowly and I don't mean that in the normal sense. We were catching fish, but only small ones. In fact, I think I caught my smallest fish of the year several times over. The young of the year brook trout were voracious, but eventually persistence paid off and some of their elder brethren succumbed to our offerings.

brook trout

At least two or three spots had spawning fish doing their thing and we left them alone. Fishing to spawners is not advisable on wild or native trout streams. Those are the future of the fishery and should be left alone to do their thing. Those that weren't actively spawning kept us more than occupied.

brook trout

brook trout

The better fish were dressed up in full fall dress. I'm not sure if there is a fish more beautiful than a colored up brook trout or spec as the locals call them. Over the course of the day, we both caught good numbers of fish. I was using my favorite small stream rod, an old Orvis Superfine Tight Loop. The rod is eight feet long and throws a four weight line, flexing clear to the handle when you get a feisty fish on the end of your line.

At the beginning, I chose a Black Elk Hair Caddis and dropped a #16 caddis pupa behind. The dropper seemed to do its best work on the smaller fish while the best fish of the day mostly had a preference for the dry (but not all). I have no idea how many I caught, but I do know that two separate holes were both good for 5 fish apiece so you know the fishing was pretty good. By the end, both flies were chewed up to the point of retirement.

Smoky Mountain brook trout

The fish were not the only things dressed in their fall best. Many of the trees are reaching the fall color peak right now.

Fall color

Eventually the day drew to a close. We made the hike back down amid lengthening shadows and cooling temperatures. I was heading for Elkmont Campground for the night so I could get up and fish again the next day. As it turns out, the next day would be great as well, but that is a story for another time.

Want to fish for brook trout in the Smokies? Contact me about a guided fly fishing trip at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com

5 comments:

  1. This is a wonderful time to fish for brookies in full spawning colors. The brookies in RMNP weren't nearly as beautiful as the ones you caught.

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  2. Howard, have you fished the North St. Vrain in Wild Basin (or have I asked you that before)? There are some beautiful brookies in there although they still look a different from these.

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  3. The best time of the year!

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  4. David those brook trout are beautiful.
    I agree it's worth the walk.

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  5. I refuse to believe that there is a prettier fish anywhere in the East.

    ReplyDelete

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