This fall has produced some excellent fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Occasional bouts of high water have caused temporary disruptions, but overall the fishing is great. The fishing on the Caney Fork has been a little tougher. Consistent daytime generation on weekdays means that only the weekends are available for much fishing.
Great Smoky Mountains Report
In the mountains, the fish have been looking up on a daily basis. Most days will feature a slower start because of the cool nights we are finally having. The warm fall has finally transitioned to a cooler than normal fall, at least for the next few days. We have been hiking in to various destinations to find the best fishing each day. Only a couple of trips have been roadside and those have worked out well also.
Most days feature a lot of nymphing, but for those who like to fish dry flies, the action is usually good during the afternoons. Large orange Elk Hair Caddis or Yellow Stimulators are great if fishing with a dry/dropper rig. A Parachute Adams is deadly on the larger slick pools with a tiny nymph or midge dropped behind. If you want to get those picky risers on a dry fly, go with a small Blue-winged Olive Parachute.
Smoky Mountain Guide Trips
Wonder what a guide trip in the mountains is like? Most days go something like this. We meet around 9:00 AM at Little River Outfitters and make sure you have a fishing license before heading into the Park. Then we drive to our chosen destination for the day. At the trailhead, we don wading gear, put together rods, and pack the lunch. Next, we start walking. On a normal day, the walk will be somewhere between one and three miles. The fishing starts out as nymphing except on the warmest of days, but by sometime around lunch we switch to a dry fly with a dropper. Fish hammer both flies although the nymphs usually catch a few more than the dry. After a relaxing stream-side lunch, we hit it again. Usually we hike out between 5 and 6 PM although that varies depending on your needs.
That last sentence is important. All of this is subject to change based on what you want out of your day on the water. As we head into the late fall and winter, many people are going to be looking to hone their nymphing and streamer skills. Watch our newsletter for more on that, but if you want to consistently catch trout through the winter, you better be prepared to nymph and maybe throw some streamers.
Caney Fork River Report
The Caney Fork River has been tough as of late. High water on weekdays makes an all day low water float basically impossible unless you want to look at the lower river. I don’t really recommend floats down there right now although it is certainly a possibility. If you do need to fish, you can look at weekends or early mornings before the generators start pumping water.
The winter fishing should be fair to good, especially if we get a shad kill again like last winter. This is the best time of the year to chase large trout on streamers. Some days will be tough with little to even no action, but when it is on, you will hardly be able to keep them off of your flies. Streamer fishing is a numbers game. Put in your time on the water and eventually you will land some extraordinarily large trout. Start thinking now about your streamer float during the prime months of February through April. Those dates will book quickly.