View Full Version : October

07-24-2008, 05:28 PM
Last year folks on this board were very helpful in my trip planning for the wife and I. We had a great June trip much thanks to the advice we received here and at the shop. Thanks again! After telling my buddies what a great trip we had they are so jealous we are doing a boys trip — they are all afraid of being out fished by the Mrs.

Schedules being what they are the boys are targeting early October for the trip. I was hoping some here might be willing to comment on the fishing that time of year. We are not afraid of the cold but don’t too much snow probably doesn’t justify the drive from Missouri.


Gerry Romer
07-24-2008, 06:44 PM
If the past few years are any indication, I wouldn't worry too much about snow. In fact, I'd be more concerned about the Leaf Watchers and rabid football fans than the weather. If you're planning late October, you'll have to contend with a ton of tourons AND Volunteer football fans ( a surprising number of whom also camp out)... I just checked the schedule and the Vols play Mississippi State on the 18th and Bama on the 25th - both at home. So if you're thinking of the weekend of the 25th, you might want to try and get some kind of reservation like now!

If I remember correctly, October is, historically, the driest month of the year here. we tend to have moderate temperatures as late as Thanksgiving. But that's not a prediction by any means. I've wet waded comfortably on Thanksgiving day and I've also had my line freeze in the guides on Thanksgiving Day, so you never really know that late. But early to mid October can be quite balmy here with lots of sunshine and blue skies.

Where the fly color of choice in the summer is yellow, in late September, the "go to" color for the Smokies changes to orange... Orange Palmer, Orange Stimulator.... and you can drop a bead head pheasant tail nymph of anything any time of year.

Just a few quick thoughts. I'm sure you'll get more.


ps Paula, we need some kind of orange smiley. Just a thought.

07-24-2008, 08:29 PM
you can't really say it too much better than Gerry. I would add that Oct. is quit possibly one of my favorite months in the park. the weather will more than likely be nice, comfortable, and the air crisp. There's a certain magic about an east tennessee autumn. you've picked a good time to go. as Gerry stated, orange palmer, orange stimis are must have patterns that time of year.

07-24-2008, 10:33 PM
Admittedly i would never have considered football fan camping crowds. In MO they simply pass out in the parking lot of the stadium!

If you had said orange caddis this may be the early planning stages of my ultimate trip. Perhaps an orange Madam X. The boys did a long weekend in the drift-less area a couple of states North. Caddis and X rose em from 4 til midnight!

The wife and I camped Elkmont last journey. Would you all recommend there or an alternative in the park? I would appreciate any recommendations for outside the park camping/lodging as well. We have been burned enough times by the "secluded cabin with picturesque views" -- views of the parking lot and/or interstate!

Again i am humbled by the willingness of folks on this board to freely give advice. Thanks! If in return i can offer advice on Missouri, drift-less, and/or parts of Colorado i would be happy to do so.

07-24-2008, 11:11 PM
Along with the "stimies" there is an October Caddis with an orange body about size #8 or #6 that periodically appears. Trout love them. I throw a lot of beetles both wet and dry and a dry renegade with a "fat body".

Along with the leaf peepers, the amount of leaves in the stream causes "issues" in late October. Water levels will be very low so go with a long leader and light tippet.

Randall Sale

07-25-2008, 08:18 AM
...I would only add that with respect to the leaves in the water, it helps to have and use a wading staff. I didn't have one a few years ago and was fishing near Cherokee on a cold December day. I was carefully, but evidently not carefully enough wading along and steep onto a bed of leaves only to discover that they had collected over a deep hole. This is not the kind of surprise most folks would find or consider to be pleasant :)


Rog 1
07-25-2008, 09:43 AM
Clearwater...You have targeted my absolute favorite time in the Park....and Elkmont is still the best place to set up a base camp. This time of the year the nights are cool enough to enjoy a sleeping bag and the warmth of a fire....the days are usally warm enough to wet wade even in shorts....have now switched to nylon pants to protect against the briars and nettles....the campgrounds are still crowded on the weekends with families but during the week in early October they are almost deserted....there is also a lot more room in the streams too....early October has some color up high but not enough to bring in the mass of leaf peepers.....ditto on the fly selections above....I have fished the whole week at this time of year with nothing but an EHC.....have also had the fish go crazy at times over a hopper....a thunderhead/wulff type fly will also work.....I have had my reservations at Elkmont for six months....my buddy and I will be in F8 next to the bridge...stop in and say hi....will be there the first week in Oct.