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

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Big Brown Trout in the Great Smoky Mountains

Catching large brown trout in the Great Smoky Mountains is never guaranteed. Far from it in fact as large brown trout are definitely around but rarely hooked. For most anglers, catching one is the highlight of their year at minimum and sometimes even for their life. Yesterday, one lucky angler was fortunate enough to land one of the highly sought after big brown trout on Little River in the Smokies.

I had some guys from up north down to fish. For their first full day on the water, they hired me as a guide to help show them around and get them oriented to how we fish here in the Great Smoky Mountains. The morning started off quickly and it was not too long before each of them had caught their first Smoky Mountain trout including one who was fly fishing for the first time. This time of year, that is about as good as you can hope for so I was already quite happy as the guide.

We took a good lunch break and after getting fueled up for an afternoon of fishing, we hit the water again heading straight for a nice long pool that has room for more than one angler to fish. I got one angler started in the bottom of the pool after pointing out a few specific features with the instructions to fish thoroughly around those areas. Then I took the other angler upstream to fish the head of the run where I hoped we would find some trout feeding in the slightly faster water.

Before we had even really gotten into a rhythm fishing, the first guy yelled, "I think I have a good one!" Indeed he did and when I saw that golden flank flash in the sun I was all out sprinting down the bank with my net at the ready. Luckily all of the knots and 5x tippet held as they were supposed to and he did a fantastic job fighting the fish on his 8' 6" 4 weight rod. Before we even really had time to process what was happening, 22 inches of buttery brown trout was in the big net. Great job Steve and congrats on a memorable wild Smoky Mountain brown trout!

Little River Big Brown Trout in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Of course, a few pictures were necessary after which I tried to impress upon him how special of a fish this was for the Smoky Mountains. These fish don't come around every day and often not even every year, especially for most anglers. Applying good techniques and the ability to read water will go a long ways though towards eventually achieving the goal of catching one of these beauties!

If you are interested in a guided fly fishing trip in the Smokies, please contact me at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com or call/text at (931) 261-1884. 

16 comments:

  1. A big Brown is indeed a rare occasion.

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    Replies
    1. Mark, each and every one is special for sure!

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  2. Impresive! Once again, perfect colors!

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    Replies
    1. I've been fortunate to see some incredible fish lately!

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  3. Hey, David, congratulations to you both. The Guide and the Angler. A lifetime memory for one and a job well done for the other!

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    1. Thanks Mel. It is definitely one I'll be remembering!

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  4. David
    Rare indeed to land such a trout in the Smokies; just curious are there any trout stocked in the Little River or anywhere else in the Smoky Mountains?
    That guy should have a dry mount created from this outing; probably never happen again for him in the Smokies. This trout proves what I have always known about you; that having a fantastic guide can always make an outing special.
    Put me down for a wade trip on the Caney sometimes in April or May. Thanks for sharing

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    1. Bill, no stocked trout, just wild and native fish so this was a wild brown trout for sure. We'll definitely get together for a trip next spring.

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  5. Besides being big, that brown looks like a quality fish judging from the red spots, kype jaw, and red fringe in the adipose fin. Do you think that is a wild brown?

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    1. Mark, it was definitely a wild fish. No stocked fish can get to where we were fishing which of course makes it even more memorable.

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  6. Fantastic Smoky Mountain brown!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! It was special for both angler and guide!

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  7. You were like a little kid again when you ran past me yelling "he's got a big brown".. The excitement in your voice expressed to me the love you have for The Smoky Mountains trout and being an awesome guide/ person.
    Trust me, we never heard the end of it as Uncle Steve kept reminding us of his catch. I would have done the same thing as that Brown was not only big, but the colors are simply stunning.
    Thanks again for the guidance, awesome conversations, killer lunch and the chocolate brownies :)

    Tight lines,
    Lefty (the other Steve in the group)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by Steve! Yes, I was definitely excited. Seeing fish like that is not something that happens every day. I'll bet uncle Steve will remind you guys on all FUTURE trips as well.

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