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, January 20, 2016

January Brook Trout


As the calendar turned from 2015 to 2016, I began to think about fishing goals for the new year. I'm not a resolution kind of a guy because why wait until the calendar changes to get things on track? However, from a fishing perspective, it is easy to get stuck in a rut and keep doing the same thing each time I get out on the water. With that in mind, I've set a goal to catch a brook trout each month of the year. Originally I even contemplated doing it using dry flies only or maybe Tenkara, but for now those ideas are on hold.

Still, when I decided to head up to the mountains this past Sunday, I knew the early morning hours would be spent chasing brown trout. After having such a good day the previous Sunday, I figured it was too good an opportunity to ignore. I still had that monster to track down and land. For some reason that fish was nowhere to be seen. After doing a lot of scouting and a little bit of casting, all I had to show for it was 3-4 half hearted chases and one fired up fish that couldn't find the hook. The time had come to move on to plan B.

Before heading to one of my favorite brook trout streams, I rolled into Townsend to warm up and chat with the guys at Little River Outfitters. A short stop turned into a longer one as the nice warm shop was hard to leave. I knew that I might not get back to the mountains much again in January though so I eventually forced myself back out into the cold to go find those brook trout.

When I lived in Colorado, winter time streamer fishing on Boulder Creek right in the middle of the town of Boulder was one of my favorite things to do. I could get out for an hour or two, walk the ice along the banks, and maybe even catch a trout or two. Often I would be surprised by nice brook trout that hammered the streamer so I knew that they loved streamers. If you know me this is probably shocking information, but I actually have not fished streamers for brook trout in the Smokies, until this past Sunday that is.

As it turns out, the native brook trout of the Smokies like streamers as well although water temperatures in 30s meant that the hits were few and far between. I did get this beautiful fish on just the second or third cast which meant I could relax the rest of the time and not worry as much about catching trout.


Able to enjoy myself, I spent more time looking around than fishing after catching that trout. My camera provided another avenue of enjoyment. Here are a few of the stream shots. Notice the dusting of snow on this cold January day.




14 comments:

  1. David
    You are one lucky guy to live in an area with streams that beautiful. Colorful brook on the streamer; how were you fishing it? Thanks for sharing

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    1. Bill, I was hitting the soft and deep pockets and pools and working it with the rod tip. The stream was small enough that there wasn't a lot of casting to be done so mostly high sticking...

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  2. It's wonderful to see the ambition of a wild brook trout. They will try to eat most anything the can get in their mouth.
    Nice stream flows.

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    Replies
    1. We have been blessed with good water lately. These small streams are some that I prefer lower water.

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  3. David, I haven't fished Boulder Creek in town for two years. I had to fight off dogs chasing sticks thrown by thoughtless pet guardians and homeless washing their feet. By coincidence, it's also the last time I caught a brookie.

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    Replies
    1. Howard, I basically wouldn't fish Boulder Creek except for in the winter because of what you just mentioned. Too many crazy people and their four legged critters...

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  4. Lovely shots David! Thanks for sharing some winter beauty from the Smokies!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Mark. The Smokies are a great place to be in winter!

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  5. Your streams are so beautiful. I would be happy to just hike along those streams and take in all of the scenic beauty without even wetting a line. The colors on those fish are fantastic!

    I love streamer fishing for warm water species. I haven't tried it for trout, yet. All of my trout caught in the Driftless area of Wisconsin have been caught on hoppers and nymphs. Hoping to change that this coming weekend.

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    Replies
    1. Streamer fishing is just about my favorite method if I think there is any chance of catching fish that way. Tough to beat it for sure!

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  6. Love Brookies! Similar to Justin Carf, I love streamer fishing, but have more luck on nymphs and dries for Brookies.

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  7. nice photos, I love go out at this time, take some pics like that!

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  8. Amazing Pictures, wonderful place for family fishing tour.
    I have to go there

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  9. I just love that photo of the month. What fish is that? The rainbow colors of that fish body is nice. Nice fishing photography indeed.

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